Publication Date: August, 2010 (Paperback)
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.
Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed ather 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 is 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.
Rampant is one of those books that had been on my radar, but I'd never really wanted to read, because I thought unicorns? Ick. Then I read Diana Peterfreund's story in the Zombies vs. Unicorns anthology and decided I'd have to give this series a go, and I have to say, I don't regret it! Rampant is a fairly dark book. Generally I don't like books with animal violence, even in the case of mythical animals. There's a scene about fifty or so pages into the book that's pretty shocking, but it does the job of desensitizing you. It also introduces a new breed of unicorns, and they don't fart rainbows or burp sparkles.
I loved all the strong women in this book. Some of them are kind of annoying (like Astrid's mother, Lilith) while others are more background characters, each has their own butt-kicking abilities. I thought the role of the young women's sexuality in regards to their careers as hunters was well done and the struggle of whether to be a hunter, or to have a life outside of it was thought provoking.
I really enjoyed Rampant and can't wait to read the next book in the series, Ascendant. It doesn't matter if you're a unicorn lover or hater, Rampant is definitely worth a read.