by Diana Peterfruend
August 25th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published August 18th 2009)
Placement in Pile:
A Bit Buried
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.
Killer Unicorns. Now that's something different, right? To best summarize RAMPANT, think Jurassic Park with hot young virgins as the task force organized to control the savage beasts. This book has promise wrapped up just in the premise—because devising a plot about the fluffy white mythological horse that every young girl has dreamed about and turning that dream into a blood-lusting, bone-grinding animal is pure genius. Right?
It could've been. Should've been. But sadly fell short. Unfortunately, the MC (main character), Astrid Llewelyn, Miss Protag herself, just doesn't have the IT factor to star in an entire novel…let alone two (but we'll get to that review next week).
So where did it go wrong? I say, from the start. When Astrid is first introduced her character actually leaves the young children she's babysitting to go out in the woods with her boyfriend, a boy that she doesn't even like all that much, so they can do the deed. And why would Astrid want to get her groove on? (While she's babysitting, nonetheless.) So that the lack-luster horn-dog boyfriend of hers will ask her to Prom. Hmm…hold up there. A prom date for sex. Really? Come on, Diana Peterfreund, what are you thinking?
Does the book get better after chapter one? Personally, I didn't think so. But as always, that's for you to decide.