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Unicorn Battle Squad Paperback – October 1, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Somewhere between Kafka and My Little Pony, only even weirder than that sounds." -BEN LOORY, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day



"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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050544
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,647,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Unicorn Battle Squad has got to be, by far, one of the absolute best action/adventure fantasy novels I've ever read. It reads as if it's the best Terry Gilliam movie never made. First off, the unicorns in this book are totally brutal. These aren't your daughters pretty, magical, wonderful unicorns that spit rainbows and walk on clouds. They're intense, armored, and on steroids. The main character's unicorn, Yury, has a giant crab claw sticking out of its side. It can snap people in half. It's the most brutal unicorn ever!

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.
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Format: Paperback
The feeling of loving your pet. The feeling of your pet loving you back. Trusting you. The feeling of you trusting your pet. It's beautiful. I once had a dog named Laska. How I would have loved him to always listen to me like the unicorn Yuri did to the boy Carl. But alas, Laska was always trying to escape, too busy exploring new territory, hunting rabbits, never catching one, always catching the ball, never returning it. O, how I would have loved to saddle him up and ride, like Carl did with Yuri. But he wouldn't have let me. It would have broken his back too.

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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unicorn Battle Squad is a creation of a fantastic imagination. Kirsten Alene has created a world that I loved visiting and hope to visit again soon. There is a modern city full of clerks. There are burly and brash Unicorn Riders who defend the city while they live in filth. There is our hero Carl who is searching for his father and obtains a Unicorn in the process. This is a fast paced story with colorful characters that I would love to learn more about. There is much action and bloodshed as well as touching scenes as a young man bonds with his Unicorn. Not everything is explained in detail and I like filling in the blanks myself. Overall the story moves fast and was a blast to read. Like all good books it left me wanting more while leaving me feeling satisfied at the end. I look forward to reading more of the authors works.
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Format: Paperback
I was super stoked about this title when I first found out about it. Unicorns? Battle? Battle Unicorns??? Heck yeah! So many elements of Unicorn Battle Squad seemed to scream Angry Robot, and I have generally liked everything I've read from their imprint so I figured I would love this. And I did truly enjoy this story. It was fun and it kept my attention. I was very amused by some of the descriptions of the Unicorn Riders' barracks and of a later character's obesity. The palace with feet was a fantastic creation! All these things being said, the story needs a lot more. At times it felt like a wonderful second draft. There were few moments that it felt like a finished story.

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.
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