Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Review: Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund


Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (September 28, 2010)
GoodReads Description:

Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream.

So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had 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 unicorns from the world?
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Ascendant, which is the sequel to Rampant, was not what I was expecting. Rampant was filled to the brim with action whereas Ascendant was more filled with emotions and introspection. It wasn't JUST an entertaining read...it really made me think about the ethics of it all (killing unicorns, experimenting on them, capturing them). I believe Phil really has it right to want to change how the unicorns treated and find a haven for them to live freely. They are deadly animals, yes, but they are living beings who are just following their natural instincts. Is that really any different from tigers, lions, and other wild animals?

Astrid begins to connect with unicorns on another level which begins her questioning her dedication to hunting and living the life that she was thrust into. There are some moments that truly made my heart feel heavy. It is easy to sympathize with Astrid. All the hunters have had to give up so much, but Astrid is expected to live up to the Llewellyn name and it seems an impossible task. This book isn't just about killer unicorns, it is about strong women who are finding themselves and learning to fight for what they believe in.

Overall, Ascendant was a great read. It took me awhile to really get into the story but once I got on a roll I couldn't put it down. The way the book ends really leaves me wanting more...it feels like Astrid's story just isn't over yet. As far as I can tell though, there aren't any definite plans for more books in this series. I am hoping this changes...keeping my fingers crossed!

4.5/5

Preorder on Amazon

*Thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with this review copy. Any opinions expressed are my own.*

2 comments:

vvb32 reads said...

eeek, now i need to read rampant, like now ;-D

Karen said...

I have both books but still haven't read either yet. I hear great things!