Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

        "Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns... Real unicorns are venomous man-eating monsters with razor-sharp horns. Fortuantely, they've been extinct for a hundrd and fifty years.Or Not"
    Astrid had always believed her mother insane, what with her eccentric stories about killer unicorns and the virginal hunters that kill them. But when her boyfriend is attacked by a unicorn, Astrid has no choice but to believe in her mother and all the crazy stories-- or realize she herself has succumbed to the delusion. Having ruined her chance of going to prom, Astrid is all to happy to hear her mother is sending her away to Rome. Ancient cloisters lie there, which unicorn hunters have used for centuries. But the cloisters what they seem. Unicorns lurk outside it's walls, waiting for the girls to leave and attack; the girls she trains with have hidden secrets that could save or destroy them and--oh yeah, Astrid is growing dangerously attracted to a handsome Art student.

        To be a hunter, you have to be a virgin. With a group of teen girls in Rome, this is an obvious problem. I can understand that some girls will wander about the streets of Rome and, no doubt, find some sort of Romeo all to eager to deflower them, but does it really have to be Astrid's only conflict for the first half of the book? She literally spends the time she's not  killing thought-to-be-mythical beasts, thinking about her virginity; how to possibly lose it, what it means about her, and how it relates to her situation! After 200 pages, one can begin to be peeved by this. Despite this minor irritation, the book is great. The plot turns; amazing. the characters: well, they certainly grow on you. The unicorns; down-right friggin' awesome! I mean,  a unicorn that will spear you rather than prance about and puke pink cotton! What's not to love? And the powers of super speed and acute senses that the presence of a unicorn gives the eligible ( a.k.a. virgin) hunters are pretty cool too. Once it seems that Astrid gorws up and out of her qualms abotu virginity ( or at least doesn't feel the need to mention them every 5 sentences) we can see bigger issues dealt with and more unicorn slaying which is very intense and pretty much saves the book ( for me,  anyway). As Astrid learns more about the postion of unicorn hunter, so does the reader, because this book is told in first person point of view and the narrator is none other than the lovely Astrid Llewelyn. her sassyness and wit are soemthign you come to enjoy; all it takes is a little sarcasm to brighten the mood of slaughtering  a herd of one-horned monsters that are nothing like what children's books would lead us to believe. one thing is for sure, after reading this book, you will never be able to think of unicorns as fluffy and innocent ....EVER.
The hardcover addition is 402 pages, 27 chapters, and this is most definitely a young adult novel due to sexual content...or at least thoughts about possible sexual content.
 Rating: 4 out of 5
Level of Romance: mild, or a little more than such. I mean, if you're going to have a group of teen girls obsessed with virginity, you have to have a few boys chasing them, right?

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