Title: Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1)
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Release Date/Publisher: August 25th 2009 by Harper Teen
Read: July 29th, 2012
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.
What I thought:
When I heard about this book, I just had to give it a try. Killer unicorns just sounded so awesome, then add teenage girls who have to train and kill them. Even Better!
Astrid lives with her mother, who is obsessed with the idea of unicorns, saying that they both are descendants of the great hunters of the past. Astrid thinks her mom is crazy but still loves her. One night when babysitting, a small unicorn is drawn to Astrid. When it attacks her boyfriend at the time (who is a total douche by the way) he almost dies, filled with the venom from its horn. Luckily her mom comes and saves him from the poison just in time.
After all of this drama and Astrid is pretty much an outcast at school, her mom decides to ship her off to Rome, but not to have fun. She is to go to an old empty convent, live with other teenaged girls and learn to kill unicorns. She hates this idea, and the place itself is beyond creepy and falling apart. The company that runs the place is sketchy and of course has other motives, one being trying to find the Remedy, the cure to almost everything.
The unicorns themselves are so cool, there are different varieties that are explained in the book, some being as small as a goat, to as big as an elephant. And these girls, they apparently can move faster and are stronger than most when it comes to the hunt. They also have to stay virgins, which is what somehow draws the unicorns to them. Their immunity to the poison also helps and fast healing if hurt by a unicorn horn.
Astrid was a cool character, I felt sorry for her when she found out that she was going to Rome forcefully, who wants to be shipped off like that? Then as the book goes on she starts to grow, becoming stronger as a hunter and learning more about the unicorns and the past. She also has an interest in medicine which was kind of cool too, especially with the idea of the Remedy. The other girls there were from all over the world, which was nice making it diverse. The battles were also awesome, and the small bits of romance were cute.
I definitely recommend this book for fantasy fans, who want to read about real unicorns, the tough and viscous kind.