Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Review: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Rampant
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: YA
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN0061490008 
Summary: Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .  Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student . . . an attraction that could jeopardize everything. [Cover image & summary from Goodreads.com]
Overall Rating: 8/10
To buy this book: Powell'sAmazon | IndieBound | The Book Depository

I've wanted to read Rampant since I first heard it recommended by the phrase: killer unicorns!   Throw out your images of gentle unicorns that merrily prance & sparkle among rainbows and butterflies, and prepare yourself for the bloodthirsty, venomous beasts of Diana Peterfreund's Rampant.

What I Liked:
  • Astrid is an intelligent, science-minded heroine.
  • She and her fellow warriors (all virgin descendants of Alexander the Great) are flawed & don't have flat, bland personalities.  
  • The group of potential hunters sometimes reminded me of Buffy-esque slayers-in-training.
  • The mystery surrounding the unicorns and their history is interesting, seems plausible,  and leaves a lot to be explored. 
  • [The following is an example of ReaderFAIL on my part, but I've decided to mention it anyway because it does describe something I liked about the book.]  This book is set in modern times.  Right now you are probably thinking: "Thank you, Captain Obvious!  The mention of prom in the book's description made that rather clear."  But as I said before, this book had me at "killer unicorns" so I did not actually read the jacket summary before purchasing it.  What I did see - the cover featuring a young woman with a sword & Tamora Pierce's glowing recommendation on the back of the book - seemed to support my vague assumption that a book about sword-wielding unicorn hunters would be set in a quasi-medieval setting.  So Rampant's present day setting was a surprise to me, and it turned out to be a pleasant one.
What I Wished:
  • I would like to have seen more of the loose ends tied up and more information about the Remedy revealed.  
  • I also wanted more details about the unicorns & their history.  
Who needs vampires, werewolves, and fallen angels when there are deadly unicorns lurking in the woods? I would recommend this book to teens and adults who want to read a fresh take on unicorns and to readers who like coming-of-age adventure stories. Fans of Tamora Pierce, Rick Riordan, and Joss Whedon should pick this one up! To read more about Diana Peterfreund's Rampant and Ascendant (Killer Unicorns, Book#2) or to learn more about her other novels, check out:

Diana Peterfreund's: website | blog | twitter

Side note:  Zombies vs. Unicorns, the upcoming anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier, is now available to pre-order on Amazon.  It is scheduled to be released in September & no detailed author information has been provided yet, but I will be shocked (and disappointed) if Diana Peterfreund is not included in the lineup.

Happy Reading!

7 comments:

Emma Michaels said...

Great review. Enjoyed it so much I clicked follow. Look forward to seeing more of them from you!

Violet said...

Thank you! :)

Lea said...

Fantastic review! I really loved Rampant...especially the descriptions of the unicorns. They were pretty intense!

Violet said...

I agree regarding the descriptions of the unicorns! I look forward to learning more about the killer unicorns in Ascendant! :)

tinylittlelibrarian said...

I did this one for the YA Challenge, too, and it also had me at "killer unicorns"! Great review and thanks for the heads up about the upcoming books!

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Adeeva Afsheen said...


I say many thanks to Mr. admin website I read this, because in this website I know a lot of information information that I did not know before his

Obat Tradisional Tumor Limfoma
Obat Tradisional Benjolan Di Hidung
Pengobatan Filariasis
Obat Alami Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ( CTS )
Mengobati Emboli Paru
Obat Herbal Fibromyalgia
Obat Penghilang Pusing Untuk Ibu Hamil
Obat Wasir Ibu Hamil 9 Bulan