review: “rampant” October 30, 2009Posted by Katie in reviews.
Tags: fantasy, series
Rampant by Diana Peterfreund.
HarperTeen // Hardcover // 416 pages.
Reviewed from library copy.
Even though Astrid grew up with her mother telling her unicorn folklore and that the bloodthirsty unicorns were real, Astrid never believed her. That is, until her boyfriend was attacked by a unicorn right in front of her eyes. Now, Astrid’s mother has shipped her off to unicorn killing school all because she’s supposedly descended from some great line that can defeat the unicorns and protect the human race. The only catch is that Astrid must remain a virgin to fight the unicorns…and she doesn’t want to fight…and there’s this boy…
Okay, I know what some of you may be thinking out there. Killer unicorns? Evil bloodthirsty killer unicorns?
Yep. And they’re awesome.
Astrid is a hesitant, but solid heroine. I loved her development over the course of the novel. She really grows, as she comes to terms with her “destiny.” The supporting characters (other girls) are fleshed out and real, each with a unique personality. This book would not have worked nearly as well if it hadn’t been for the differences between the supporting characters.
The plot is hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but I will say that it is well thought-out and makes sense — even the twists. What really sets “Rampant” apart from other YA fantasy is the clear boundaries in the author’s world building and history.
There are similarities between Astrid and Buffy from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” It must be said. But where I’ve seen a lot of reviewers bring this up, the things they need to remember are threefold. One, that Buffy is now twelve years old. Two, it has been off the air for six years. And the three, the majority of teens do not know Buffy!
And teens today need their own female butt-kicking role-models. I think Astrid is a worthy fit.