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Rampant Hardcover – August 25, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061490008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061490002
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,562,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Unicorns are not magical, sparkly creatures of fairy tale, but violent, venomous beasts that could only be killed by virgin girls descended from Alexander the Great and that were hunted to extinction more than a century ago—or so Astrid Llewelyn's mother always told her. Naturally, the 16-year-old is dismayed to learn that all but the last part is true. Like her ancestors, Astrid fits the criteria for a unicorn hunter, and her obsessed-with-glory mom sends her off to Italy to train for battle against the latest wave of unicorn attacks. The scientifically inclined Astrid is reluctant to enter this mysticism-laced world, but her interest is piqued by research into the Remedy, a panacea somehow connected to the unicorns. Astrid is a believably strong and reluctant heroine, but only a few of her fellow hunters emerge as fully developed characters. Bloody battles abound, but the book is at its best when the characters discuss the moral and social aspects of their situation. How does a cloistered order dedicated to exterminating a species fit in with modern ideas of feminism and environmentalism? The hunters must be virgins, and Astrid and the others discuss the fact that they often feel pressured by their peers to have sex. A solid addition for libraries needing to beef up their girl-centric fantasy-adventure collections.—Christi Esterle, Parker Library, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“As swift and sure-footed as a killer unicorn, RAMPANT weaves a vibrant new mythology from venerable threads.” (Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series)

“RAMPANT is a thrilling read, with strong girls, unusual and scary unicorns, and hidden dangers everywhere. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish! Please, miss: might I have some more?” (Tamora Pierce)

“Tired of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Try Astrid the unicorn hunter.” (Locus)

“With an atmospheric setting, personable ensemble cast and some reasoned discussions about virginity, this gripping page-turner evokes the same grrl-power spirit as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, packed with action, mystery and a complex and intriguing mythology.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A fresh folklore twist amid the wave of vampires and zombies.” (Kirkus Reviews)

More About the Author

Diana Peterfreund is the author of eight novels for adults and teens, as well as several critically acclaimed short stories and a handful of essays on popular children's literature. She grew up in Florida, and lives with her family in Washington, D.C. When she's not writing, Diana enjoys taking long hikes with her dog, Rio, reading, working in her garden, watching far too much Netflix Watch It Now, and being addicted to Twitter. her website is http://dianapeterfreund.com

Customer Reviews

The characters in the story were very interesting as well.
OpheliasOwn
With strong female characters, plenty of twist and turns, and loads of action, you will not want to put Rampant down until the very last page is turned.
Kate B.
Unicorns were hunted to extinction a long time ago by virginal hunters descended from Alexander the Great.
Mei

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Vania Stoyanova on August 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Diana Peterfreund's Rampant is a story about young high school girl, Astrid, who's a descendant froma long line of Unicorn hunters but since they've been extinct for centuries she's had no real reason to ever try her hand at hunting. In fact, she's having a hard time even believing her mother's ancestor stories until her boyfriend is attacked by one mid makeout one night. That night and that unicorn force Astrid to move to Italy to train as the unicorn hunter her mother believe she's meant to be but it is not all it is cracked up to be when Astrid realizes the ethics and morals involved if she is to step into the shoes of a hunter and take hold of her destiny.

Killer Unicorns. That is what Rampant is about. No, it's not the only thing, but it is nonetheless centered on a concept that is unique and original. It was hard to get around the idea of killer unicorns for the sole reason that I have grown up around the idea of happy go-lucky unicorns and to make a 180 into the dark and twisted world Diana Peterfreund's Rampant took me a few pages.

Right from the start Diana throws us into the gnarly world of killer unicorns, sex, and death. Diana doesn't spare us the nitty gritty and goes for it with the highest of bravery. The romance is not in any way safe or easy and the relationships are difficult and troubled. The characters are tough and clever who deal with `real' issues even among killer unicorns. Best of all, Diana makes this concept believable and with ease threw me deep into the book knowing that I will be able to swim through this book enjoying every minute.

What I most admire Peterfreund for is the brilliant re-imagination of the unicorn myth blending mythology and history and new found ideas into a seamless plot arc with deep and multi-dimensional characters.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Darcy Wishard on August 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, 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 mother'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.

What image comes to mind when you think of a unicorn? Rainbows and green meadows? Goodness and purity? Well these my friends, are not the unicorns we discover in the world of Rampant! These unicorns can kill you with their venomous acid breath or rip a hole in you with their poisonous horns. Yeah, not too pleasant...

I was caught up in this book from the first few pages. Astrid's adventure starts in chapter one and the roller coaster continues all the way to the last page. She is a strong willed, head strong character whose only weakness seams to be the will of her mother.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Travis Millet on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Diana Peterfreund would like to take a moment to kindly rip to shreds everything you previously thought you knew about unicorns. Unicorns are not the fluffy, magical creatures from your childhood storybooks. In actuality, they are vicious, killer beasts whose horns can kill with a single scratch. Oh, and another happy thought? These man eating monsters aren't fiction and they aren't extinct.

These are the facts Astrid Llewelyn has heard from her certifiable mother since birth. Needless to say she's a skeptic. But all that changes when her boyfriend is gored by a rampaging unicorn and Astrid is suddenly shipped off to a convent of sorts in Italy where she will be trained to hunt (and kill) unicorns. Her qualifications? Astrid is descended from a long line of unicorn hunters; women who posses special abilities (like running or archery) which only manifest when they are in the presence of a unicorn, thus turning them into the perfect hunters of these killer beasties. It also doesn't hurt that Astrid is a virgin - much to her teenage chagrin. Female virgins are the only individuals immune to the deadly poison from a unicorn's horn and they also act as a sort of homing device for unicorns. Once again aiding in the Hunt and Kill agenda. But Astrid is a reluctant hunter to say the least. She doesn't feel like it should be her destiny to hunt unicorns like her fanatic mother believes. That is until she meets Giovanni in Rome and unicorns begin to attack her fellow hunters and Astrid discovers she has no choice but to join the fight against the unicorns.

Like many readers, I was eager to pick up Rampant. Come on! Killer unicorns - who would not read it on that premise alone? It's got to be one of the more ingenious concepts I've come across in quite a while.
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