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Bad Unicorn (Bad Unicorn #1)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  555 ratings  ·  139 reviews
In this start to a hilarious middle-grade fantasy trilogy, Max Spencer discovers that a killer unicorn is hunting him.

It wasn't Max Spencer's idea to fight robots, lead an army, or save the world—it just so happens that he's the only living person who can read the most fantastical book ever written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The Codex is no ordinary book, and amon
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Aladdin
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,435)
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Tamara Richman
Can I give 6 stars? Pretty, pretty please? I want to give 6 stars for 3 reasons:

1) Not only is this a bad unicorn but it is a bad robo-princess unicorn

2) Favorite chapter title: Never step between a unicorn and her tofu

3) My 12 year old and I literally had a tug of war about whose turn it was to read the book.

Seriously folks, this book is awesome. It reminds me so much a blend of Hitchhikers and all the young downtrodden nerd boy turns into magician and discovers his inner strength books.

I did
E.J. Patten
I liked this book so much, I blurbed it. It's seriously funny, which is a contradiction in terms, but true all the same. If you like books, especially the kind with words in them, I highly, highly recommend this one.
Michael Gee
Where on earth does Platte Clark come up with his wit and off the wall humor? As I began reading the book, from the first warning about copyright infringement and being licked by fire kittens and hung up on the tree of Woe,I knew this was going to be a very interesting read. At some points I felt like I was reading a fantasy version of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" mixed with some unsuspecting twists and turns, and an abundance of dry wit.

Mr. Clark has very cleverly created one of the most
Bad Unicorn successfully smashes any preconceived notions of the likability of Unicorns. There are no rainbows, no glitter, no granting of wishes. Only an insatiable appetite to eat . . . everyone, especially humans untouched by magic!

I seriously LOVED this book! So much so that my husband is probably tired of me talking about it, and lucky him . . . I just finished the sequel (I liked this book so much that I petitioned the library to buy the sequel)! The humor was my favorite part. It was clev
D.J. Butler
This book is awesome. D&D nerd inherits the world's most powerful book of magic, and must master it to be able to fight an evil carnivorous unicorn.

I plant my flag as the first person to have written a filk song about Bad Unicorn. Here it is:
Daniel Shellenbarger
Bad Unicorn is well... weird. VERY weird, and a tad disturbing ((view spoiler)), but mostly really funny (often at the most disturbing points). My sister read this first and compared it to Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz with its clever offbeat humor (the squirrels and zombie duck come to mind), but it mostly reminded me of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams in their more darkly (and deliciously) ...more
Max Spencer is an ordinary nerd, hiding from bullies and trying to keep his grades up so he doesn't get grounded. Except for The Codex of Infinite Knowability, a book he's had with him all his life, that no one else can touch without being shocked. A book no one else can read.

It turns out an evil sorcerer wants that book--and Max. And he's set Princess the Destroyer, a unicorn who loves to hunt, kill, and eat other beings, and destroys with powerful spells anyone who gets in her way. She's from
I really wanted to like this. It had all sorts of humor potential and it was recommended by a bookstore buyer I respect. But I couldn't love it. I barely tolerated it and ended up mostly skimming it. The premise was fine, but it was full of way too much adult humor. It was sort of like a kids movie with a few adult jokes in it to keep the adults from going insane. There were political jokes, for heaven's sake. My personal favorite was that a frobit died in the Great Gore Fest which turned out to ...more
It's rare to read a truly unique story. This book delivers a whole new idea, and it's funny. In Greek mythology Athena isn't born but falls fully formed from the head of Zeus. This book must have been born in a similar manner. The world the characters live in is too well-formed to be anything else. My 10-year-old is up next to read it, and I hope she likes it, too.
Ali Lassús
I really wanted to like this book. It sounded epic! But it was bad. Oh boy, was it bad. Plot holes, crummy characterization, and an ending that #1. was confusing and stupid, and #2. rendered half the book entirely pointless. Even the nerdy references, which I normally love, did nothing for me. I would not recommended it.
This farcical/fable/sci fi/adventure is hilarious. You have to wonder about Platte Clark. I mean, is he mentally stable?

A carnivorous, maniacal, magical unicorn who is out to take over the world, and not just hers, but ours as well. The survival of human species depends on the magical abilities of a boy who struggles to make a B in school and can barely walk a mile, much less run one, whose only claim to fame is being the direct descendent of the most powerful wizard of all time and the heir t
Lilac Wolf
I read this to my 9 year old son. I don't think he understood all of the jokes, but I sure did. It was a very silly book that we all enjoyed. My favorite parts - "8 tickle points of doom!" and the zombie duck.

The story has a great flow that really keeps the excitement up. My son rarely took a break, and even if he wanted to read a picture book first, he always wanted this before going to sleep for the night. We are waiting our copy of the 2nd book in the series. Thank goodness for the sample fro
Kelli Panique
This is the first 400+ page book my 11 year old has read and he says, "It was amazing!" Any book can that hold this reluctant reader's attention for that long is a winner in my book. Much of the appeal of Bad Unicorn is in the video game like mythology of alternate worlds and a codex book that contains the ultimate power. Thank you, Platte F. Clark for writing a book that has engaged this young mind. He has been bouncing around and announcing the world that he finished a book. He is so proud of ...more
Ticklish Owl
This started with a hilarious bang, but didn't follow through; I found it overly long, repetitive, and lacking in characterization.

If you liked (or wanted to like) this book, you might also enjoy:

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1. A Tale Dark & Grimm
2. In a Glass Grimmly
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Bad Unicorn is like a cross between Harry Potter, Scooby Doo and Monty Python. Definitely a kooky, "punny" adventure.

Max is the reluctant hero who discovers the Codex of Infinite Knowability under his bed. He shows it off at school and finds out that he is the only person who can actually read it. His best friend, Dirk, new friend and potential crush, Sarah and stereotypical dwarf, Dwight, get sucked into a time-traveling quest that none of them could have anticipated.

Meanwhile, across time and
Becky B
Princess the unicorn is bad. You know, she's a unicorn. They go around zapping creatures to dust with their horns or eating them raw for breakfast. And Princess is the most conniving, evil, sinister...and hungriest unicorn around. She's had orc, and goblin, and frobbit, but she wants something new and tastier. Something like those unmagical, sure to be scrumptious humans on Techrus (aka Earth). The trouble is, getting to Techrus from the Magrus isn't all that easily. Happily for Princess, though ...more
In Bad Unicorn, first time young adult novelist Platte F. Clark builds a fantasy world that’s wonderfully complete, yet has room for more enticing development. (It will probably get a second visit in a follow up book.) This is the story of middleschooler Max Spencer and his three friends as they search for a way home when the guileless Max accidentally sends them, plus Dwight the dwarf to an abysmal future using the Codex of Infinite Knowability.

If you think that’s complicated, you’re right, and
Louise Bendall
Forget what you know about unicorns. They aren’t pink, sparkly creatures that love rainbows. They are vicious killers. As is apparent by the title, this book is about a particularly heinous unicorn that is set on the destruction of humankind.
Max is a seventh-grade guy, who just happens to be the only person able to read this strange book called “The Codex of Infinite Knowability.” This can only mean he must a powerful sorcerer – the only live descendent of the great Maximilian Sporazo. However,
He had me at the threat of being tied to the Tree of Woe and being licked by flame kittens. The foreword to the mythical Codex of Infinite Knowability left me supremely intrigued and in two pages had me laugh hard enough that I immediately made my boyfriend sit down to listen to it.
This book has been a truly enjoyable ride and I've been recommending it to many of my friends and their children. The language is challenging enough to keep the reading interesting without being too complicated. The
Rebecca Alcaraz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Kellar-long
Max Spencer is the only person who can read a very powerful and magical book. He has been transported to the future and is living with tall rabbits. He has acquired Glenn, a talking dagger. Oh, and there's an evil robot unicorn named Princess the Destroyer who wants to catch and eat Max.
After Max and his friends Dirk and Sarah show the book called "The Codex of Infinite Knowability" to Dwight the shopkeeper, they get transported to the future. As they get accustomed to the future, they meet a
Mar 19, 2015 Megan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: BYU bookstore
We were captivated by this book's description in the BYU bookstore. It promised to be hilarious reading. But we were disappointed. I read it as a read aloud to my sons, 5 and 10. We just stopped reading partway through and never finished it. It felt too forced and wasn't nearly as funny as the description had made it sound.
Maybe this just isn't my genre? It's described as "bizarro fiction" which according to wiki uses "elements of absurdism, satire, and the grotesque along with a pop surrealism
BAYA Librarian
Gamer/nerd Max discovers that the old book he’s had since he was a kid is the lost Codex of Infinite Knowability, and that he is a wizard. Meanwhile, an evil carnivorous unicorn named Princess is bent on destroying the earth and eating all the humans… and Max and his friends end up in a human-less future full of robots, where Princess has become Robo-princess and hunts them (and the last of the Frobbits) down. I wanted to like this book. It’s a kind of combination of Douglas Adams and Terry Prat ...more
I thought this book looked funny, and was going to read it before giving it to a friend to read...until I read it, and realized that she will probably like it even less than I did. To be fair, it was well-written for what it is. I was never a fan of fantasy/sci-fi stuff as a kid, but I had friends who were really into Terry Pratchett, and this seems like it is very similar to his writing. There is a unicorn who has an anger problem, and a boy with a magical book (ahem, Codex) and a future where ...more
Max Spencer is the only person who can read the most magical bookkeeper written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. But the Codex isn't the easiest book to work with. First, the copyright warning says that violators will be lashed to the tree of Woe and licked b fire kittens. Second, it seems obsessed with the world ending treat of squirrels. And third, it is keenly aware that a unicorn named princess would like turning max into a human shish kebab. Princess the destroyer is one bad unicorn. She ...more
Max Spencer is the only human who can read The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The codex is not the easiest book to work with, and the the copyright warnings are a little weird. First, is saying violators will be tied to the tree of woe and licked by fire kittens. Second, it seem to be obsessed with squirrels taking of the world. Max and his friends get sucked into the future, and are being chased by and evil unicorn named Princess? Read the book to find out what happens next!

This has been one
LandOLakes Library
Great story of a young wizard coming into his power. While a typical good vs. evil story, the tongue-in-cheek humor keeps the book fresh. Clark twists the typical world of fantasy making dragons good and unicorns evil. One of the best wizard books I have read since the Harry Potter series. I can't wait for the sequel.
In Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark, the theme is that too much power and luxury can corrupt another. The book takes place in a mystical universe with three realms. The realms are unique in their own ways, and have their own creatures, dangers, and secrets. Max Spencer is a young boy in our world (The Techrus) who possesses the Codex of Infinite Knowability by Maxmillian Sporazo. The Codex is the most powerful book in all the three realms as it is a very useful encyclopedia containing many magical ...more
Adam James
Considering Platte Clark commented and shared my YouTube book review calling it "Without question, my favorite review of my book," how could I not recommend this book even more than I already have??
WHOA!! I Wanna Read DAT!! Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark!
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Goodreads Librari...: Small typo in book description 3 24 Jul 10, 2012 04:12PM  
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Platte F. Clark shares his first name with the midwestern Platte River, which he's been told means "wide and shallow." Despite that he was able to find a woman to marry and produce seven offspring with.

Platte graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Philosophy and an MS in English, and currently lives with his family in Utah.
More about Platte F. Clark...

Other Books in the Series

Bad Unicorn (3 books)
  • Fluff Dragon
  • Good Ogre
Fluff Dragon Good Ogre The Bad Unicorn Collection: Bad Unicorn; Fluff Dragon; Good Ogre

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“Dirk an I tried to learn Klingon, but it sounded like we were choking on cabbage. The Neighbors called nine-one-one” 0 likes
“You'll have to forgive Sayri," Ayriah said gently.
"Her mate was killed at Gore-Fest."
"How barbaric - a festival where people are stabbed and gored?" Sarah exclaimed, truly horrified.
"No..." Ayriah answered, somewhat confused.
"Gore-Fest is a reading of the collected works of Al Gore, from the twentieth century.”
More quotes…