I was excited to read this book by Peterfreund. I mean it’s about evil, carnivorous unicorns, how can you not be excited? It was a very creative book and pretty engaging.
Astrid is your typical teenage girl, except she has a mother than has raised her on stories about evil, man-eating unicorns. Things are going pretty good for Astrid, that is until her boyfriend gets gored by an evil unicorn while they are out in the woods making out. From there things get kind of weird. Astrid is shipped off to a convent in Rome by her overzealous mother, where supposedly, she is going to learn how to become a unicorn hunter. Apparently Astrid comes from a long line of female unicorn hunters.
The best thing about this book was the creativity. The whole idea of evil rampaging unicorns is a lot of fun and Peterfreund does an excellent job of integrating the existence of unicorns into current history and society. Astrid is a great character that has a dry sense of humor and a pretty good sense of self. The book itself clips along at a good pace and is engaging. At the end of the book you want to find out more about these huntresses.
There was a part mid-way through the book after their trainer left that things slowed down a bit too much. It never got boring, but it didn’t match the rest of the pace of the book. Also this book takes place in modern time, which for some reason I was expecting more of a fantasy. It is more of a paranormal or maybe urban fantasy type of book. While Astrid and her cousin were both engaging characters, I didn’t find the side characters as engaging as I would have liked. Maybe there were just too many side characters or maybe enough background wasn’t provided. Lastly there wasn’t as much hunting and fighting as I expected; there was a lot of time spent on the social aspects of being a huntress…mainly keeping your virginity.
This was a good read. It will appeal mostly to a young female audience; but fans of unicorns and huntresses may also find it appealing. The main strength of the story is the creativeness of it and the ease with which the unicorns are brought into the modern day world. The characterization of the side characters could have been more well done and the action scenes more plentiful and better detailed; but all in all it is a decent story. I will be keeping an eye out to see what other books along the fantasy vein Peterfreund comes up with.