Saturday, January 29, 2011


Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: September 28, 2010
Source: GoodReads
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Pages: 392
Challenges: Mystery and Suspense
Rating: 3 out of 5

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?

If you're like me and don't remember the first book very much, I suggest you read a quick, complete summary of Rampant. Ascendant didn't have a long and redundant short and helpful blurb about what previously happened. Within the first couple of chapters, this book is throwin' in the dramatics. Where the first book was more about reasons to kill the evil unicorns, this one more about reasons NOT to kill the evil unicorns. I always hated reading thoroughly about the unicorns being killed and the suffering blahblahblah (most likely because I'm an animal lover) so I liked that Astrid was having a harder time killing the unicorns and not feeling bad about it.

A lot of the book takes place outside of the Cloisters, which I thought was a good change. It took away from getting to know any of the other hunters very much more which I didn't like, but new characters are introduced and some characters with small parts in the last book have big parts in this one.

This book was good but it took me a while to read. It wasn't unputdownable until the last part of the book--about the last six chapters. I still love that this series is so different from what I've read before though, and I would definitely read a third book, but is there going to be one?! While I guess this book could have been the end of Astrid's story, I also think a lot of things had gone unanswered and I feel like I've been left hanging on a limb. Someone please confirm that there will be a third!!!

Attention-Getting Quotes:
" 'This is a different school. I'm not going back to SUNY. This is one--Prat--it's in New York City--' Each word was a jolt of alicorn venom. 'You're leaving.' 'Yes.' " Page 28

"The steps of the charging unicorn faltered as I spoke her secret aloud. She raised her head and stared at me with fiery, furious eyes. It's the last thing I remember." Page 298

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