May 19, 2012

Review: Rampant

By: Diana Peterfreund
Published: August 2009 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardback, 402 pages
First Reviewed: April 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
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Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

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.

Rating: 1/5

When I first read the description of this, I got really stoked. Killer unicorns?! Come on! That's epic! But it did not live up to my expectations. I should have know when I found an error at the top of page 2....

The setting was my favorite part of the book. Italy! I love Italy, even though I've never been. It's one of those places everyone just wants to visit, am I right? And so I immediately fell in love with the setting. Italy aside, though, Peterfreund did do a good job painting some creepy places for us, like the place the characters go to live.

I have so much to say when it comes to the characters, yet nothing at all. So I'll make it brief. Astrid bored me, annoyed me, and just wasn't consistent. As some points she exhibited qualities I love in strong heroines, but then in others she was just uninteresting, whiny, and do I say this...horny. Won't make much since to anyone unless you read the book.

Anyway, with the minor characters, I never cared about them. Didn't like or dislike them. Phil, a major-minor character, was just all over the place, and during the part where I was supposed to feel the most for her, I felt absolutely nothing. Then the love interest was just bland. To be honest, I don't think he served much purpose in this other than to make Astrid figure out whether or not she wanted to stay a virgin.

Oh, for the love of books, I don't think I've ever read a published book with this many errors. For one, like I said, there's an error on the second page. They're errors no editor should let slide, and also errors authors shouldn't make (many were consistent dialogue tag errors). Okay, okay, when I wasn't overwhelmed with the amount of errors, the writing was just okay for me. I think Peterfreund spent too much time with the thesaurus, though. She had some nice prose here and there as well as some nice dialogue and inner dialogue, but it was just all right. But I just couldn't get past the number of silly errors. I read the acknowledgements, and for a book that's been read for many editors, agents, and other authors, the amount of errors was insane.

Oi, this premise had so much potential! Killer unicorns! A unicorn hunter! Legends! That has "awesome" written all over it, but I just don't think it delivered for me. I spent the majority of the time being bored. I think if I would have liked the characters more, then I would have thought a bit different, but needless to say, the plot still wasn't exciting. Even during intense scenes, I was bored. The romance was laughable, in my opinion. They were all over each other on the second meeting. Really? And I swear, if I had to read any more talk about virgins and sex, I was going to hit something. If you know me, you know I don't like any of that talk anyway, but I can usually handle it in books if it's not obsessive. It was too obsessive in this book. Look, we get unicorns don't attack virgins, you don't have to write a whole chapter with the characters talking vividly about their sex life and desires. Nor go crazy with the inner dialogue for Astrid. All that aside, it was a great premise, but a boring plot.

Also, I never understood why Astrid referred to her mother by Lilith in the narrative but then by "Mom" in dialogue, which was another consistent error ("Blah, blah, mom" then "Blah, blah, Mom" later on; the latter is correct, in case you're wondering).

I'm sorry, but the errors...just...there were so many. Who edited this? Seriously. I understand sometimes things get missed, but these was not a "things get missed" type of errors. It was pure laziness. If you read the book, you'll see what I mean. Okay, I'll lay off the errors and just leave you with this: I didn't care for it. I wanted to love it, but I was just bored by the plot and characters. No, I will not be bothering with the sequel.

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