Publication date: September, 2010
Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can't solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend's powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can't help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.
So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want--or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world.
Rampant & Ascendant have to be two of the most beautifully written, kick-ass books in the young adult genre. These books really have everything. Romance, action, strong girls...I love it. I wish more YA novels were like this series.
In this book, Astrid stretches out from the Cloisters. Her boyfriend goes back to America, her mother's attempting to be a media personality, and she ends up spending time in France. Her conflict about whether she should save the unicorns or kill them is compelling. She feels connected to the animals, yet it's not like they're the fluffy, sweet unicorns of modern imagination. They'll kill you without a second thought. She's pulled between two worlds, the her fellow hunters at the Cloisters and a somewhat more normal life at the Gordian headquarters.
Astrid goes through hell in this book, and it was kind of frustrating to find out that Diana is not under contract (as far as I can tell, I really hope this has changed) to write a third book in the series. I hope we won't have to wait too long to get a conclusion to this amazing story.
Seriously, if you haven't read this series yet, buy it or snag a copy from the library right away.