Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
(Killer Unicorns, #2)
Genre: Teen Fantasy
Pages: 400 Trade Jacketed Hardcover
Date Published: August 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen, Balzer + Bray
Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can’t solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can’t help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are impossible dreams.
So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and—most of all—her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?
After finishing the first book of the series, “Rampant”, I had to see what would happen next. Ascendant pretty much picks up right where Rampant left off. Close enough to it anyway.
It had a nice flow to the story that kept me reading it. This book felt like it brought in more historical evidence of unicorns. The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars is that I felt like it would have been nice fill in more detail on unicorn behavior. Truthfully though, I’m a science nerd and that might have slowed the pace too much for most readers.
I don’t give spoilers, so I’ll just say that if you liked Rampant, I think you’ll enjoy Ascendant. And, I highly recommend reading Rampant first. This book builds on the first so there are too many references that would become meaningless without knowing the back story.
Similar to Rampant, some parents might be uncomfortable if they just randomly flip open the book and see something about virginity, rape, or lesbians but I don’t see it as a problem. Those particular subjects were presented in a way that any middle school, high school, or college aged person would already be familar with. Now that I think about it, you might even say that the story’s core concept is something about virginity as a personal treasure that girls should preserve.
Anyway, it was an enjoyable read.
Friends fighting with one another, fighting for one another, fighting killer unicorns, fighting a multinational corporation…
*Thanks to HarperCollins for providing a copy for review.*
Diana Peterfreund has lain in silence on a forest floor while a panther stalked its prey nearby. She’s swum with sharks in the Great Barrier Reef, lived next door to a very lonely alligator, let piranhas nibble on her toes, and watched as a hyena seriously considered eating her husband. She’s seen all kinds of predators, but nothing scares her more than unicorns. A graduate of Yale University, she now lives in Washington, DC, and has written eight books for adults and teens.