Review: Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Ascendant (Killer Unicorns #2)

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Release Date/Publisher: September 28th 2010 by HarperTeen

Read: July 31st, 2012

Pages: 392-Hardcover

Series: 

  1. Rampant
  2. Ascendant

Synopsis:

Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can’t solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can’t help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.

So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want–or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?

What I thought:

Continuing where the first book left off, the girls are still fighting unicorns and risking their lives, although they are stronger than when they started. But things start to change, and the Cloisters don’t have a financial backing anymore. The company they trusted in before (Gordian) betrayed them and they don’t know where they can turn now especially when the unicorns seem to be becoming more known and sighted around the world.

There seems to be something happening to Cory too. She still has her healing powers, but her senses of the unicorns as well as her fighting abilities are diminishing and no one can find out why. The doctor’s can’t figure it out, and the fact that they still don’t know everything about the unicorns and the hunters of the past isn’t helping.

Astrid’s struggles in this book are more challenging than before. Her boyfriend Giovanni is across the ocean, so she can’t see him and has to be content with just phone calls, all while a certain man in her vicinity keep trying to be with her. She still doesn’t like the killing of unicorns, so when given the opportunity to work with Gordian labs to watch over some that are in captivity instead she goes for it. All she has to do is keep them calm and safe. To a point.

The new boss is different than the man from the first book, and she seems to genuinely care for Astrid and her well-being. Even her own mother would prefer to see her battling and claiming some fame rather than try to be a parent. The unicorns in the enclosure start to capture her heart, and she notices how she connects with them more like this, then when she was hunting them.

The development of this story, the tragedies that happen to the hunters and Astrid’s struggles all make this book not only powerful, but hard to put down. I think I loved it even more than the first. There were a few small things that weren’t answered, but in the grand scheme of the book, it was small compared to the rest of what was happening.

Highly recommended for fantasy fans who would like to read about killer unicorns and the lives of their hunters.

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Review: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1)

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Release Date/Publisher: August 25th 2009 by Harper Teen

Read: July 29th, 2012

Pages: 402-Hardcover

Series: 

  1. Rampant
  2. Ascendant

Synopsis:

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.

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.

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Top Ten Tuesday-Halloween Edition

I’ve seen a bunch of people participating in this every week, and I love reading them. Then I decided to check out the blog the meme comes from, and decided to give it a try, since it seems so fun!!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish, with a different top ten book list each week. Feel free to go to their blog and join in on the fun!

Here are my top 10 Books for Halloween reading! I admit that I haven’t read a whole ton of scary books, a bunch of these are on my to read list too, or I don’t have a copy yet, but I might as well add ones that I think would be good for this reading season!

  1. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick -Loved this book, it creeped me out but was so fun to read!
  2. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab-This one is on my to read list, for this Halloween actually, I heard great things about it.
  3. The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks– Also on my to read list for this week. You can never be too prepared.
  4. Frankenstein by Marry Shelley-Read this in highschool, a very good book, especially for a horror one of it’s time.
  5. Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black- Written by various authors, either Team Zombie or Team Unicorn, this book isn’t incredibly scary, but it does have a lot of short stories that make it fun to read, especially at this time of the year.
  6. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake- Reading this one right now, very good so far!!
  7. The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff– This book isn’t out yet, but it definitely feels like it would be a scary read, and I’m planning to get it once it’s released, and have it for next Halloween as a re-read.
  8. Possess by Gretchen McNeil– I recently got my hands on this book, and will see if i can fit it in for Halloween this week. Excited to seehow good it is. Also I love the cover.
  9. Enclave by Ann Aguirre- Another book on my to read list, heard some good things about it. You can never go wrong with a good Zombie book for Halloween!
  10. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff -On my to read list right now, the cover itself looked creepy, and the synopsis of the book made me think it would be perfect to read for Halloween. Just need to actually get a copy now and see for myself.

Well thats my list, if anyone has read the books that I’ve mentioned as to read, let me know what you think of them!

Happy reading this Halloween!