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Unicorn Battle Squad Paperback – October 1, 2012
Pierced by the Sun
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"Imagine Terry Gilliam directing from a script written by Jack Vance channeling the ghosts of Kafka and Calvino, and you're closing in on the essence of Alene's latest novel. A bold fusion of grounded surrealism, unfettered filth, and wit as dry and dark as a strip of unicorn jerky." -JESSE BULLINGTON, author of The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart
Top Customer Reviews
The world the book takes place in is boundless and bleak. Large cities with endlessly tall buildings, flooded and decimated towns, and vast deserts. The settings are a cross between modern and futuristic, but crumbling, with an extremely archaic feel to it. The nastiness of it all makes the atmosphere of the story seem more and more apocalyptic as it trudges on through the endless filth. The Unicorn Riders of the story are a motley crew - heroic and formidable, but at the same time they can make you sick. A ragtag team of ruffians, but also honorable and the great protectors of the city. The villains of the story, the Theklanians, are innumerable and well-armed, making it seem like the odds are against them. And there's a gluttonous Princess in a giant palace being carried on the backs of thousands of enslaved men, slowly making its way across the desert. That's one of the coolest, and most fantastical things I've ever read in a book.
All-in-all I found Unicorn Battle Squad to be extremely enjoyable, tremendously well-written, and the perfect length for the story. It's a story-story, an extraordinary story, that never loses its momentum. It's pretty much the best book ever.
But now I have this book. Kirsten Alene gives us a great unicorn with Yuri. If there's one unicorn you would like to have, it's him (well, maybe except for the gigantic Hamidol because he is just awesome). And there's a great story to go with it. The main character Carl is trying to find out what happened to his missing father. In his search he has to deal with the unicorn he thinks his father left him, for whatever reason. And then he discovers the existence of the Unicorn Riders. Carl is definitely an underdog. A little naive sometimes, but someone you want to root for. It was great to see him care for Yuri.
There are some amazing ideas in this book. I would have never expected a sea battle with the Unicorn Battle Squad being pure cavalry. I thought it was great how the cavalry got loaded on a ship, completely neutralising their strength, according to normal battle theory. The Eastern Queen mentioned in the description of the book is quite a character too. The part with her involved is really bizarro, and I loved it the most.
Kirsten Alene slowly drags you into the world she created. The story reads very cleanly, has a good pace and builds up to a strong finale. There is some good art in there too.
Pick it up if you love unicorn pets!
The world could have used a lot more structure and explanation. There were a couple times Carl passed out and it seemed that his problems had suddenly been solved when he woke up, which struck me as a little dishonest. He stumbled through the adventure and never seemed to become a hero in his own right. I thought that was sad. Then there was the abrupt ending. Sometimes an abrupt ending can work really well, but that was not the case here. It felt like the author just ran out of steam and decided to stop rather than to wrap things up in a way that would be satisfying to readers. Kirsten Alene definitely has talent. She has a wonderful imagination and she writes well. With some work, I think this could be a truly great book. As it is, it is just "okay", but only because it feels so unfinished. I look forward to what will pop out of her imagination in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At the first mention of ‘unicorns,’ I expected a fantasy tale full of magical creatures and wondrous realms but Kirsten Alene, the author of Unicorn Battle Squad, has a different... Read morePublished on May 20, 2014 by Rachel Barnard
I wasn't too sure I wanted to read a book about unicorns, but knowing it was written under the Bizarro banner, I figured I'd give it a try. Read morePublished on August 14, 2013 by kcb
I received the book in return for an honest review. With that out of the way, Unicorn Battle Squad was not what I was expecting from this publisher. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Kindle Customer
Just as the Surrealists created disturbing dreamlike effects by juxtaposing previously unrelated images, Kirsten Alene has given us a story that has something of the fantasies of... Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Alan M. Clark
Unicorn Battle Squad is an epic journey that takes you to bleak cities, a battle on the high seas, and through a barren desert. Read morePublished on February 8, 2013 by J. Pitner
Unicorn Battle Squad. You tell some people that's the title of the book you're currently reading and you might get a few odd looks. Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Matthew Vaughn
I was offered the chance to review this book and took up the chance as it has good reviews on various sites and it's fantasy/adventure genre is not too unlike what I normally... Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by Azeryk
After reading some raving reviews here, I decided to purchase this book for a quiet weekend read. Alas, although it started off well, the author wasn't able to continue the story... Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by Nicholas Lim