Killer Unicorns, Need I Say More?

I have decided that I need to start a Ridiculous Premise Book Club. Right now I have a total of two books which fit this category perfectly – Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith and Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. I read Grasshopper Jungle last September after meeting Andrew Smith at the 2014 Decatur Book Festival. Quick synopsis: a 16 year old boy is torn between being in love with his girlfriend and his best friend (also a boy) while giant grasshoppers are on the verge of taking over the planet. Clearly Grasshopper Jungle perfectly fits into my Ridiculous Premise Book Club. However, long story short, for a super-hyped book (problem #1), I was very underwhelmed (Grasshopper Jungle Review).

Fast forward a couple months to the December Not-So-YA book club. For Christmas we decided on a white elephant book exchange and after much swapping and stealing of books, I ended up with Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1).

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Let me share with you the synopsis (from Goodreads):

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed 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 it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the 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 … an attraction that could jeopardize everything

I’m sorry what???

Illustration by Commanderofthedead on DeviantArt

Illustration by Commanderofthedead on DeviantArt

No really what???

Commanderofthedead on DeviantArt

Illustration by Commanderofthedead on DeviantArt

Following the book exchange, Rampant was about as far down the list on my TBR as you could get. I told my co-workers about it over lunch one Friday then I found out the following Monday that one of them borrowed it from the library over the weekend and started reading it! Well if he was reading it, I wanted to read it so we could talk about the insanity together. I read the book in about a week and no one was more surprised than me that I actually really enjoyed this book. I liked a book about murderous unicorns and the teenage virgins with the powers to slay them! It was like a bizarro Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7 with the Slayerettes.

Rampant was fast paced with a colorful cast of characters and certainly a unique take on one of the most well known mythical creatures. There were some issues with the book, namely that the girls not only had to have the right unicorn hunting lineage but also had to be virgins. I had a hard time accepting the lack of freedom these young women had over their own bodies and lives. However, that’s a heavy topic I’m not going to get into further at this time. Also, I didn’t realize how ingrained the idea of pure, kind unicorns was in my psyche. It was difficult to accept them as violent creatures and even root for their destruction. I’m not even sure I ever condoned violence against them but with five different species of unicorns, it was kind of easy to pretend they were a different mythical creature all together. For instant, I referred to the largest species of unicorn as a mammoth with a horn or a horned Snuffleupagus.

I’m not going to lie, I want to read Ascendant (Killers Unicorns #2) so clearly Peterfreund is doing something right with her ridiculous premise.

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What suggestions do you have for the Ridiculous Premise Book Club?

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