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Ascendant
Book
2010
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Hard on the heels of Rampant (2009), Ascendant continues the story of unicorn hunters living in an alternate modern-day world. Astrid grows disenchanted with her job hunting the flesh-eating beasts after witnessing a unicorn birth and sustaining a unicorn-caused injury that, ironically, is somewhat eased by being in their presence. Although her naïveté sometimes seems contrived, Astrid is painted with a strong brush in this uneven mix of environmental advocacy and longing for love both familial and sexual. Although the ecological message is front and center, it is rather dark, so this isn't for Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (2002) crowd.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2010 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Picking up where Rampant (2009) ended, this meandering and often slow sequel finds Astrid Llewelyn questioning her life as a virginal unicorn hunter in a camouflage habit (now required by the Church and the novel's only bit of humor), wanting to return to freedom and her education and saying goodbye to her college-bound boyfriend. She may have found a compromise when Isabeau Jaeger, the wife of the mad scientist killed in the series opener and new head of Gordian Pharmaceuticals, invites her to live in Limoges, France, in exchange for her help with unicorns held captive to research and create more of the Remedy against their poison. Although it continues the themes of feminism and mythology (including the story of Diana and Actaeon) begun earlier, this sequel is less about unicorn battles and more about Astrid's search for self as she ponders the ethics of animal testing, the conundrum of saving humans from deadly animals and the ramifications of driving them extinct as well as the meaning of her virginity and advances from her ex-boyfriend. Unanswered questions beg for a sequel. (Fantasy. YA)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns. The fluffy, sparkly, friendly "horses" so popular the world over don't exist. Real unicorns are killers. Don't miss book 2 in the thrilling Killer Unicorn series!</p> <p>Beasts the size of elephants, with cloven hooves that shake the earth, hides impervious to bullets, and horns that contain a deadly poison, unicorns can outrun a sports car and smell a human from a mile away.</p> <p>And they can only be killed by virgin warriors descended from Alexander the Great.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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?</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?</p>
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