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Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
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Rampant (edition 2009)

by Diana Peterfreund

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5186119,555 (3.69)23
Member:terriko
Title:Rampant
Authors:Diana Peterfreund
Info:HarperTeen (2009), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

2009 (8) 2010 (6) adventure (6) ARC (6) contemporary (5) ebook (10) fantasy (90) fiction (29) galley (4) Italy (10) killer unicorns (12) library (7) novel (4) paranormal (6) read (6) read in 2009 (9) read in 2010 (4) romance (8) Rome (10) series (8) signed (4) teen (10) to-read (30) unicorns (69) urban fantasy (9) virginity (6) wishlist (6) YA (45) young adult (62) young adult fiction (6)
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  1. 10
    Warped by Maurissa Guibord (singing777)
  2. 00
    Department 19 by Will Hill (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Another YA urban fantasy about supernatural hunters/assassins from families
  3. 00
    The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (cbcsms)
  4. 00
    Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst (kaledrina)
  5. 00
    Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black (legxleg)
    legxleg: Zombies vs. Unicorns is an anthology of short stories about zombies and unicorns, and includes a short story by Peterfreund set in the same world/setting as Rampant.
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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Great story, fantastic premise. It really got going at the end, and I had a hard time putting it down. The whole alternate mythology of the unicorns was very well done - I found myself wondering if I'd be laughing at images of killer unicorns, but Peterfreund really makes them frightening and horrible creatures (even little Bonegrinder).

There were a couple of things that bothered me, though. I'm older than the target audience, so that may have something to do with it, but I thought the whole virginity thing could get a bit preachy. If you look more closely at the whole "hunters must be virgins" thing, and the powers that hunters have, it has some interesting implications. We see what happens to girls who aren't hunters: vulnerable to attack, lessened physical abilities, etc. So, (and perhaps I'm looking too far into this, but I can't help but look for this kind of stuff) as soon as you lose your virginity, you lose your strength and power as a woman. You can no longer fight for yourself. Hunters (virgins) do not need men, do not need to be protected.

Then there was Astrid's character. She was a bit too wishy-washy for me. One minute she's on the phone begging her mom to let her come home, even willing to sleep with a guy she barely knows to get out of her "duty" (another interesting facet of the virginity thing) whereas two months ago she had zero intention of going all the way. And then all of the sudden, she's off enjoying the rush she gets with hunting.

Now what I had some serious issues with was her mother. At the beginning, yeah she's a bit kooky, but then again it turns out all her stories about unicorns are true. Okay, that's fine. When she doesn't let Astrid come home, it's a bit mean, but she's a mother living vicariously through her daughter. Happens all the time. Doesn't make it right, but not uncommon. And then, she comes to be the temporary donna while Neil is away. And we discover that she is, apparently, absolutely psycho. Sure, you can be a bit more rigorous in the training. But having no problems with the other girls dying so Astrid (aka she herself) can get the glory? Mocking Phil, her own niece, being downright cruel, and TORTURING her own daughter to get a promise out of her???? Really?? This lady has some serious mental health issues! And even that doesn't tip Astrid off. On the next page, she's defending her by saying that they've become better hunters since Lilith became the donna (hmm, her name is Lilith as well. How interesting). And then we're supposed to be ok with all of it because she grieves when she thinks Astrid is dead. I mean, yes, she's your mother, but after what she did, you should probably disown her and stay as far away from her as you can.

Ok, I'm done with my rantings. It would have been 4 stars if it weren't for these problems with characterization, etc. It had a great story, turned out not to be as predictable as I thought it would be, and really drew me in. A great twist on a myth, that, for the most part, was executed very well. It ended a bit abruptly with some loose ends, which I think points to a sequel. I may not go rushing out to get it, but I'll absolutely read it. ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
Astrid has never believed her mother's stories, that they come from a long line of unicorn hunters. At least not until a unicorn attacks her boyfriend, and the Reemergence begins. Now Astrid must travel to Italy and join other virgin descendants of Alexander The Great who are the only ones capable of becoming unicorn hunters. ( )
  TheMadHatters | Apr 8, 2014 |
I loved the premise of this book (killer unicorns and unicorn hunters) but found the story to be uneven and ambiguous ...were the unicorns really evil, some of them? The presence of the house Zhi made it problematic for me and I found the scenes where she is hurt or tortured to be difficult to read. It made many of the characters difficult to like and root for. Also, Astrid's mother was downright cruel and creepy. There was nothing likeable about her. When she wasn't being controlling and bossy she was overly dramatic, pathetic and immature. I had no sympathy for her at all and the whole section of her coming to Italy fell flat and ended strangely for me.

Those problems aside, I liked the idea of different kinds of unicorns of varying sizes and characteristics.

I feel like it could've been a much better book with a better editor. ( )
  LongDogMom | Feb 3, 2014 |
This is a story about poisonous killer unicorns, and the virgin unicorn hunters who protect the human race from these monsters. If that's not enough hook to get you curious, I'm not sure you and I have even remotely the same taste so you're probably wasting your time reading a review from me.

This unusual concept brings you into a fairly typical young adult reluctant-hero narrative, something along the lines of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, only it's Astrid the Unicorn Hunter, whose mother is thrilled when a supposedly extinct unicorn shows up and gores Astrid's boyfriend, because she just knew her little girl had a destiny.

I enjoyed it, but I'm going to warn you right now that the series should be rated the same as Buffy: there's plenty of monster hunting violence as one would expect, but also much more intimate violence. No graphic glorifying descriptions and I don't think the treatment is awful, but I'm kind of sick of rape in half the fantasy I read, so consider yourself warned.

Overall, I didn't love this the way I loved "For the Darkness Shows the Stars" which is the novel that introduced me to author Diana Peterfreund, but "Rampant" was probably good enough for me to give the others in the series a try. ( )
  terriko | Oct 17, 2013 |
Everything about this book worked for me. I mean, who doesn't like unicorns? But the unicorns in Peterfreund's world are vicious monsters - and after 150 years of being thought extinct, these dangerous creatures are slowly emerging from hiding.

Astrid grew up listening to the tales her mother told her, of unicorns and unicorn hunters and she always thought her mom was crazy. But one night while babysitting and making out with her boyfriend, a small unicorn attacks Astrid's boyfriend. Astrid is beyond flabbergasted and before she can blink, her mom has her shipped to Rome to become a unicorn hunter. Except the hunting school has kind of fallen to ruin and the man in charge of it kind of doesn't know what he's doing.
With the re-emergence of unicorns, a few other girls show up at the school. And what made this book so good for me was that they educate themselves. They work together to train and rely upon each other. And strong characters like that are ones I enjoy.

I also enjoyed the unicorns. Yeah, if you weren't a virgin they'd try to tear your face off, but Astrid had a cute little lap-unicorn that I liked. Rampant goes into unicorn lore in a way that was truly interesting.

There's an interesting plot afoot in this book as well. The unicorns seem to be working together in their attacks, something that is not supposed to happen. So who is the hidden foe organizing them? And let me tell you - one of the characters falls victim to this foe's plot and that part broke my heart. But again, even though something bad happened, the characters rallied together. More than anything, this was a good book about girl power. LOL Yes, I meant that to be corny. But it's about putting aside your differences and working for the greater good. In this case, it's taking on some seriously deranged unicorns. Fun times! So if you're in the mood for something along the lines of fantasy, with some seriously kick-ass teenage heroines, I'd say pick up Rampant. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  ames | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Unicorns are in the world again.

~Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
Dedication
For Dan. For Everything.
First words
"I will never really leave," said the unicorn.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...

The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venmous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great.

Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric monther's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend in the woods — thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to prom — Astrid learns that unicorns are real and dangerous, and she has a family legacy to uphold. Her mother packs her off 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 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... and a relationship that could jeopardize everything.
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After sixteen-year-old Astrid Llewelyn survives a vicious unicorn attack, she learns that she is a descendant of the most famous unicorn hunter of all time and she must travel to Rome, Italy, to train in the ancient arts in order to carry on her family legacy and save the world from the threat posed by the reemergence of lethal unicorns.… (more)

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