Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages
ISBN-10: 0061490008 (HarperTeen)
ISBN-13: 978-0061490002 (HarperTeen)
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.
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.
Quick & Dirty: An imaginative and captivating read that will have you terrified one minute and shocked the next.
Opening Sentence: “‘I will never really leave,’ said the unicorn. Diamond sparkles floated from the tip of its glittering silver horn. ‘I will always live in your heart.’”
Excerpt: Chapter 1
What’s this? Not my loveable Rainbow Brite? My Little Pony? Yeah, not so much and I loved it!
Rampant is a well drawn story with solid unicorn lore, history and amazing world building. I absolutely loved Astrid. She is such a likeable and strong character, not to mention that she kicks major butt. Astrid is struggling with average teenage issues. She’s dating the hottest and most popular guy in school who wants to take their relationship to the next level sexually, and dealing with the usual social pressures of school. A major event happens early on in the book and as a result, Astrid is off to Rome. There, she will learn more about the killer unicorns and the history of their hunters. Peterfreund does an excellent job detailing the existence of various types of unicorns. The unicorn lore is layered and complex, but it doesn’t overshadow current events. It was very interesting taking this journey with Astrid. You see Astrid go from being the girl who is in denial and just wants a normal life, and abhors the idea of killing animals, to stepping up and taking charge, and owning her destiny. Her mom is a bit of a train wreck and a character that I couldn’t get behind. She just felt so cold to me, rarely affectionate with her daughter, and had such unrealistic expectations of Astrid. At one point, I thought that she was pathetic for trying to live her life through her daughter. I have to admit that I really loved Bonegrinder. It was really hard reading some of those scenes because I just didn’t want anything bad to happen to my beloved and blood-thirsty Bonegrinder. It will be interesting getting to know the other hunters better and hearing more of their back-story. The love story between Astrid and Giovanni is actually pretty devastating. Astrid grapples with her physical and emotional reactions to Giovanni, and looks to him as a way out of the death and destruction. Giovanni is older and more experienced, and views his relationship with Astrid as more than physical gratification. Their relationship will certainly be fraught with difficulty and full of sacrifice for both parties.
Overall, I think Rampant is an excellent read. These rabid and deadly unicorns will absolutely terrify you. This book has it all, from making out, to fight scenes, flesh eating mythical creatures, deadly kills, heartbreak, and downright gore. The pacing of the book is good and the premise is certainly engaging. I actually bit all of my nails off while reading this book. Many thanks, Ms. Peterfreund. Yes, I did go to get a manicure afterward. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel.
Again, the darkness quivered, deepest indigo on black. But then, as I had that night in the forest, I saw it more clearly. I…felt it. Just beyond the arch it stood, waiting for me, waiting for the boys, waiting to pounce. Far bigger than Bonegrinder. Far bigger than any zhi. Dappled skin, a heavy, dark mane, and a long, evil horn.
“Are you all right?” Giovanni asked, taking my arm and pulling me back toward him. “I’ve never seen anyone move so fast,” he went on. “You looked like you disappeared for a second.”
FTC Advisory: I purchased a copy of this book. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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