Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: Young Adult
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.
Plot: 5 Stars
Unicorns are an underrated supernatural creature in the urban fantasy genre, especially evil ones. This book had me hooked the moment it told me that unicorns were dangerous. It was so ridiculous, it was awesome. I didn't think I'd be able to take this book seriously, but after only a couple chapters, I knew I'd never think of unicorns as cute and harmless again.
Maybe it's because I'm twenty-two, maybe not, but I thought the author handled the subject of sex quite well in this novel. Too often in YA the subject is either really vague and practically skipped over, or everyone is doing it with everyone. But this novel did neither. Although I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone under fifteen because of the frankness in regards to sex, I do understand that teens are well aware of the subject even earlier than that.
Pace: 5 Stars
There was never a dull moment throughout this book. Whether the girls were researching, bickering, training, or out fighting, I was always completely sucked in.
Characters: 5 Stars
I absolutely loved all of the girls that were training to be unicorn hunters. There were times when I couldn't completely keep them all straight, but their personalities definitely came through. I loved Astrid's cousin Philippa, and I probably connected with her most because she was a tad older than the rest of the girls and in college. The author also did a very good job describing the different species of unicorns. These evils beasts definitely came to life.
Cover: 4.5 Stars
The cover has all the basics needed for this story: a blond teenage girl, a weapon, and a unicorn. But I was slightly disappointed. For such an original take on a supernatural creature that doesn't get much press in urban fantasy, I just wish the cover could've had a bit more oomph.
Overall: 5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.