I didn’t have huge expectations going into this book and was pleasantly surprised. The author was a contributor to a short story collection that I absolutely adore, Zombies vs. Unicorns, and my absolute favorite story was My Baby Killer Unicorn by Diana Peterfreund. This novel follows the same idea and develops it in interesting directions. Essentially the world is inhabited by killer unicorns (of several varieties) and the descendants of 1800 century unicorn hunters band together to train and save the world. In Italy. Under the guise of being a nunnery.
It’s all pretty hilarious.
The main character Astrid was a fairly good narrator and I did enjoy much of the cast, however I didn’t love any of them to death. They had a nice chemistry but there were like 10? 12? girls being trained as hunters, and while their introductions into the story around the 20% mark were okay, they quickly became overwhelming. I definitely had trouble keeping track of who was who from where etc. And there were a number of times when names of side characters and corporations would be thrown around and I found myself wondering who those people were.
It was a bit frustrating. But the core members of the story were well fleshed out with one notable exception Marten, no spoilers, but legit he should have had more development.
It took me a couple of months to get through from page one to about 120 but the next 250+ pages zipped by in an afternoon. It was just hard to identify with Astrid in relation to her mother, who made the Dursley’s look sweet. Honestly, I found it incredibly frustrating that this horrid woman never gets smacked upside the face. I wanted some kind of physical blow up from someone to put her in her place and it never happened. I’m hoping that in the sequel she gets a healthy dose of reality. But I doubt it.
And truth be told, I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series. While I did enjoy this book, and I loved seeing a new perspective on unicorns, this isn’t a book that I loved, or really feel moved by and I don’t have any intention of reading it again so I’ll be selling it to a used book store nearby. If I happen to see the next book somewhere on sale or used, I might pick it up, but not if there’s better fair to be had.
I would recommend this to fans of light fantasy, unicorns, or female warriors.