Review: Rampant

Review: RampantRampant by Diana Peterfreund
Series: Killer Unicorns #1
Published by HarperTeen on August 25, 2009
Genres: Adventure, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 402
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

I must confess, first of all, to having been one of the children that Astrid could never understand; I loved unicorns and owned several My Little Ponies with magic horns.Honestly, I still like the idea of them, although in my world, they certainly are not man-eating monsters.Despite my childish love of pretty, shiny, friendly unicorns, I am not opposed to the idea of these blood-thirsty, fanged, venomous creatures either.Peterfreund does something new with unicorn lore, but she sells it.

The book did not really take off for the first couple hundred pages in my mind, mostly because Astrid spent them trying to escape her destiny.She whined and wished for things to be different.While entirely understandable and necessary even, this does not make for the most exciting reading.Once she starts coming into herself more and accepting her unicorn hunter-ness, the book starts moving at a very quick pace.

The action scenes are well done and do not go on long enough to be boring.The book is definitely violent; be prepared for bloodshed and bad things to happen.Peterfreund tackles really important issues, such as what exactly constitutes virginity and rape.She does so very well, presenting ideas without beating the audience over the head with her opinions.These parts really make the reader think.I even think that (sections, at least) of this book could be used in a study on virginity for a sexual ethics course (yes, they do exist, as I took one).

Shameful though it may be thought to admit it, I worried a bit about a book where the main character has to remain virginal or lose what makes her the main character.I suspected there would be a lack of romance and male characters, since romance in paranormal books often equals sex these days.Let me just say that there is romance in this book, although there are no overdramatic declarations of love on first eye contact.

I highly recommend this book for fantasy lovers.It has action, romance and well-drawn, multi-faceted characters that grow and change through the series.This might be a good book for Hunger Games fans searching for something else exciting and fantastical, although not quite as heartbreaking.

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