Forget everything you ever knew about
The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great.
Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend in the woods – thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to prom – Astrid learns that unicorns are real and dangerous, and she has a family legacy to uphold. Her mother packs her off 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 is seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from 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… and a relationship that could jeopardize everything.
"A book about killer unicorns?! Seriously?! Sounds like authors are running out of things to write about. But hey, I'm open minded and willing to try new things. Plus my friend Lori recommended it. It can't be ALL bad."
Those were my thoughts when I heard of Rampant. So want to know my thoughts after I read Rampant?
"OMG! That book was freaking awesome! "
"WOW! I have to tell everyone about this book!"
"I need to write up this amazing review and then tell the whole world to read the review because then they will pick up this completely awesome book! "
Yeah, some fractured thoughts there. What can I say? I was excited. I was blown away. I was completely pulled into this amazing world that Diana Peterfreund thought up. And now I'm completely devastated because I have to wait until September 28th for Ascendant. It seems like eternity.
So why, exactly, do I love this book so much?
Diana made unicorns work. It wasn't cheesy. We discovered unicorns and accepted unicorns right along side Astrid. We learned to love Astrid and understand her feelings and her crazy up and down emotions as she learned how dangerous her status as unicorn hunter was. We were there when she just thought she couldn't do it, it was ridiculous and crazy and oh, so dangerous. But then we saw when she started to grow, to realize how she was needed and came to accept things.
I liked Astrid. She made a few stupid choices that made me want to reach in and smack her, but what teenager doesn't make stupid mistakes? It's part of growing up and Astrid certainly grew in this book!
The love interest was perfect. It had twists and turns and I couldn't see where things were going. I'd make a guess but half the time I was wrong. I loved Giovanni's personality and I found myself rooting for him. I don't want to give anything away so I won't say anything more then that. Oh, I do wish he had been Italian, or at least something other then American. I'm sorry, I love a guy with an accent!
This book managed to have parts that infuriated me. In a good way! Well, as good as being infuriated can be anyway. I found myself SO mad at Astrid's mother that if I was a book thrower I would have thrown it. Instead I just seethed and gripped my seat and waited for her to get 'what was coming to her'.
So this book is about killer unicorns, but you have to know that although unicorns have a killer instinct there are some that aren't all bad. For example, they have a 'pet' unicorn in the cloister (where the girls live and train to be hunters) that loves the hunters but has a killer instinct that kicks in for anyone other then the hunters. She's very small (like waist high, I believe?) and in my mind very cute. I believe she may have been described as cute. I can't really tell you much about the unicorns without giving spoilers. You'll just have to read it to learn more about them!
The descriptions in this book were great. I never once had a hard time picturing the unicorns, the people and the sites. The book takes place in Italy for the most part so maybe I just pictured Italy in my own head, but either way I had no trouble.
This was the first book I've read in awhile that I got back up after putting the kids to sleep and had to read more of. I couldn't put it down! All the distractions of life were much more annoying then usual. I found myself hushing my kids more often then I normally do. The second half of this book was IMPOSSIBLE to put down!
In conclusion this was an awesome book that I'll have to add to my collection (this was a borrowed copy). And I'll likely be pre-ordering Ascended as I'm very excited for it! If I keep finding more amazing books I may have to cancel my trip to BEA next year! But I'm sorry, when you find a book this great you really can't wait for the library. Plus I have sisters, a mother, friends and a sister in law who I'll be strongly urging to read this book!
I give this one 5/5 Moons!
You can find Diana Peterfreund on her website.
You can buy Rampant at your favorite bookstore or at amazon.