Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.97 shipping
Rampant Hardcover – August 25, 2009
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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.
“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)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Astrid has always taken her mother's loony ravings about being a descendant of an ancient line of unicorn hunters with a grain of salt... until her boyfriend is attacked by a small unicorn. Astrid calls her mother and Lilith arrives with the ancient Remedy- the only known cure for unicorn venom. That's right, venom. See, unicorns are not all sparkly and adorable like every children's story would have us believe- nope, they are evil, angry, man-eating (and livestock) beasts with poisonous "alicorns" (their horns). Alicorn poisoning kills almost immediately, but the hunters are immune to it. That is why the unicorn didn't attack Astrid. She was born to be a hunter.
Unicorns were supposed to be extinct, but the new emergence has led to many attacks all over the world. It also leads to Lilith's barely controlled enthusiasm as she packs up Astrid and ships her off to Rome where the Cloisters exists- the home to the Order of the Lioness, a group of virgin unicorn hunters centuries ago. And the Cloisters looks like it hasn't been touch in centuries. When Astrid arrives, she is greeted by Cory, a hunter, and her uncle Neil, the man who took the responsibility of "don" or leader of the group. It becomes clear that Cory lives, breathes, and eats unicorn hunting and would have loved having Lilith for a mother.
More girls start arrive, including Astrid's cousin and best friend Phil (Philippa), and the girls start cleaning the Cloisters and training. When their first hunts go badly and result in many injuries, it becomes clear that something is wrong. The pharmaceutical company funding the hunters is making strange decisions and eventually disappears after a particularly disastrous hunt. More and more, the girls and Neil become suspicious of the situation, but they continue hunting. When Neil leaves to track down their contact, Lilith comes to supervise as donna. Under her supervision, Astrid almost dies and is instead approached by a karkadann, the largest and most fearsome of all unicorn species. The karkadann has a proposition for Astrid, one she can't pass up. Especially if she wants to keep her fellow hunters alive.
This was an A.MAZE.ING story and I simply couldn't get enough of it. I plowed through this book like it was life or death (and sometimes it felt like it was!). It was so well-written and a new take on old myths. The unraveling of the secrets and myths were so intricate and kept the reader enthralled (as did the fight scenes of course). The characters in the story were very interesting as well. They were a motley group of young women, from pampered princesses to a homeless drug addict. Their stories and backgrounds were just as interesting as those of the main characters, making the reader highly invested in all the hunters. There is clearly a sequel out already, but the book ends well. It isn't left with a cliffhanger, but definitely leaves the reader wanting more.
The target audience for this book is tough because it is definitely in the fantasy/mythology realm, which I find appeals to kids from early middle school through high school (and most fantasy is pretty clean so will work in this wide range of ages). But this book is dark. Very dark. The hunting scenes with the unicorns are bloody and gruesome, but imagine hunting something the size of an elephant with a poisonous alicorn! Perhaps the darkest part was when one of the hunter's was raped and it turns out someone may have set her up to lose her virginity and therefore forfeit her status as a hunter. I think this is a book that should be given to either older students or a younger high school student who is mature enough to handle the violence. A good rule of thumb might be if you think a kid could handle Hunger Games, then they could handle this story. None of the violence was overdone, but there might be that student who is too delicate to handle the more bloody scenes in the book. This was an amazing story, and I will be devouring the sequel as soon as it gets here (but not devouring in the same sense as the evil man-eating unicorns, of course!).
I really liked Rampant. Our main character and first-person narrator is Astrid and I liked her character a lot. I thought her strong, smart and resilient and I liked how her character changed from reluctant heroine to kick-ass unicorn hunter. I also liked the other secondary characters like Astrid's cousin Phil and the love interest, Giovanni, who was definitely swoon-worthy. But Astrid's mom, Lilith, I didn't like so much. I thought she was really annoying and unsympathetic in the beginning and she did not endear herself towards the end when she went all militant on the girls.
The unique story line drew me in as I haven't read any books with Ms. Peterfreund's take on unicorns before--that they are monsters that harm mankind. I liked that most of the book was set in Italy, which was something different. The author also did a good job describing the cloister where Astrid trained to be a unicorn hunter--I could picture the unicorn skeletons and weapons gracing the walls while I was reading the book. I thought that the first half was evenly paced as the author took the time to explain the unicorn history and lore, which I thought was very interesting and one of my favorite aspect of Rampant. However, the second half of the book wasn't as evenly paced as the first half. There were too many things happening at once. It felt rushed and a bit confusing.
All in all, though, the book was pretty good and I enjoyed it. I thought it a good start to the series. It has a likable female lead (it was great watching Astrid change to become a better, stronger person and hunter), great world-building and a nice romance Astrid and Giovanni. It ended with no crazy cliffhanger but there were enough unanswered questions to keep you interested in the series. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel. Fans of young adult fantasy should check Rampant out.