Author: Diana Peterfreund
Source: Library; Hardcover 416 pages
My Rating: 4.5 stars ★★★★1/2Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .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.
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.
My Thoughts (mini-review):
After reading Peterfreund's short story, "Errant", in the Kiss Me Deadly anthology, I knew I wanted to read more about these "killer unicorns". One often thinks of unicorns as majestic, good-natured animals, but that is certainly not the case in Peterfreund's series. Contrarily, the unicorns in her world are blood-thirsty, violent beasts. It was really refreshing to see a new approach on a topic (unicorns) that isn't played out; this was actually the first book I've read that deals with unicorns as a major plot point. In addition to Peterfreund's avant-garde definition of unicorns, she employs lots vivid descriptions to bring these creatures to life in the reader's mind with astonishing clarity.
As far as the actual plot line goes, I found the story to be enjoyable. The story takes medieval aspects, such as the idea of unicorns and woman unicorn-hunters, and places them in a contemporary setting. With Astrid and her comrades we also get to see plenty of kick-butt heroines and fighting action scenes, which I always like. Overall, I would recommend the book; it's an interesting read.
Warnings: mild profanity, rape
Cover Musings: This cover has quite a lot of details, such as the unicorn in the reflection of the sword. I kept noticing new things with each glance. Really cool!
Next in Series: Ascendant