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Rampant (Killer Unicorns #1)

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  6,457 Ratings  ·  932 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by HarperTeen (first published July 1st 2009)
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Kayla Brown they attempt at the beginning but don't go through with it due to being stabbed in the leg. I guess that kills the mood

Community Reviews

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Feb 01, 2011 j marked it as to-not-read-ever
Recommends it for: generic teen girls
Recommended to j by: certainly not the art department
Shelves: ya, vote-getters
This book is about giant killer unicorns. GIANT KILLER UNICORNS!

So why does it have a generic picture of a teen girl on the cover? Is it really and truly the case that today's generic teen girl will only read a book with a generic teen girl on the front, because that is how she identifies that it is indeed a book for generic teen girls to read?

Because if I was a generic teen girl and I wanted to read a book about GIANT KILLER UNICORNS, I wouldn't look for the one with me on the cover. I would lo
Feb 22, 2011 karen rated it liked it
why only three stars??

i really don't know. this book should have been an out-of the-park home run. killer unicorns and the teenage virgins who hunt them. i mean - criminy.

because i love unicorns - i am a girl and it is in our contract. and i love the inverting of the traditional, which is not a girl-thing, but a me-thing. and the author earned my respect when she called joel a hipster, but not in an author-goes-rabid-over-a-goodreads-review (you know who you are), but in a cheeky, funny way tha
Sep 16, 2009 Nic rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2009 Hannah rated it did not like it
This book had such great plot potential!

A group of teen virgin huntresses in a secret Italian society hunting poison-horned, razor-toothed, merciless unicorns. What could be cooler than this!? Unfortunately, the book did not live up to its potential. As in, it wasn't a good book AT ALL. Unicorn hunting came second to lame romance. There seems to be more paragraphs talking about the huntresses’ nonexistent sex lives than their actual training for killing unicorns. The main characters of the book
Jackie "the Librarian"
Nov 12, 2009 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, youngadult
Yes, I know, this book sounds ridiculous. And yes, the premise is far-fetched: killer unicorns, and girls with a warrior heritage getting trained to fight them? Oh, please! But wait, underneath all that is a really good story about girls and sexuality, and the choices they make, plus kickass unicorn battle scenes! What could be better?

Here's the way too long plot summary: Astrid always thought her mom was nuts, with all her talk about being descended from a long line of killer unicorn hunters.
Dec 31, 2009 RandomAnthony rated it liked it
Ok, when I picked up Rampant after reading Jackie’s excellent review I thought the book would be a slight, breezy fantasy about sex and unicorns. I was way wrong but not disappointed. Listen, I’m not a regular reader of novels aimed at teenage girls, but this book was pretty damn good, so good that I spent most of a Sunday afternoon and evening tearing through the last hundred and fifty pages because I wanted to know what happened at the end.

So what’s the deal with Rampant? Astrid wants to be a
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for

Think unicorns are sweet, magical horse-like creatures? Think again!

Diana Peterfreund introduces us to the darker side of unicorns in her novel RAMPANT. Peterfreund's unicorns are man-eating monsters. They can kill with poison in their horns, rip someone apart with their sharp teeth, and some have breath that can kill (literally).

Astrid Llewelyn has listened to her mother's crazy stories about extinct man-eating unicorns for years. Astrid never be
Patrick Duncan
Sep 06, 2009 Patrick Duncan rated it it was ok
Let me start by saying that I know I am not the target audience for this book. However, I work in the Kid's section of a bookstore and wind up reading quite a few YA book, either out of genuine interest or just to keep up with what's on the shelves. So I also know that target audience or not, there is good, solid YA fiction out there. And I wanted Rampant to join those ranks. I really did. Killer unicorns? Yes please. However I have to say that for me, this book was the literary equivalent of a ...more
Kami Garcia
One of my favorite books of the year. Astrid is the new Buffy! I couldn't put this book down!!
Sep 02, 2009 Nan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tamora Pierce fans
Recommended to Nan by: Angie Thompson
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
I hate unicorns. That is, I hate them now. As a kid, I cross-stitched two unicorn pictures to hang on my bedroom wall.

Thankfully, that phase passed pretty quickly. I grew tired of the sickly sweetness associated with unicorns, and I moved on.

This book confirmed for me that unicorn worshipping is a very bad idea. When an animal has horns, what are they for? They're usually a weapon used when fighting another animal. They're not some kind of beauty accessory.

Peterfreund's ideas about unicorns make
I had plagued this book with prejudices from the beginning, so I probably had no business reading it in the first place, which makes this an unfair rating and review. I actually wanted to stop reading it at least ten times and never pick it up again, that would be a first for me, because I can never not finish a book even if I hated it.

I hated this book with a fiery passion. If it wasn't for my policy of finishing a book I started, then I never would have gotten to the ending, which redeemed it
Aug 27, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Shinynickel
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Astrid just wants to grow up to be a doctor, but her mother's obsession with unicorns has made it difficult. And then, in the midst of a steamy make-out session with her boyfriend, a unicorn attacks. Turns out her mother was right all along--unicorns do exist, and they're out for our blood. So instead of prom and graduation, Astrid gets shipped to Italy to a unicorn-hunting training camp.

I love the twist of turning unicorns into bloodthirsty predators, and the unicorn-hunters are enjoyably bad-
Faye, la Patata
A high 3.5, for sure. I mean, hellooo?! KILLER UNICORNS! Fluffy unicorns that will feast on your flesh and stab your chest without a moment's hesitation. Plus, it's full of girl power. Who doesn't like girlpower?
Aug 05, 2009 Angie rated it really liked it
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Diana Peterfreund's work. I discovered her Secret Society Girl series last year and, in what seemed like no time at all, it quickly became one of my very favorites. Tap Gown--the concluding volume of the quartet--came out in May and it was a perfectly splendid end to a series I know I'm going to re-read over and over again. The problem was I went into a bit of mourning when it was over. What saved me was knowing a brand new Peterfreund book was coming out just th ...more
I never thought I'd be giving the book about killer unicorns five starts, but I am because this shit was off the chain.

Rampant is truly a gem of a book. The premise is very silly and it takes a while to sort of get into the idea of "evil" unicorns, but I think being a Magic is Friendship fan I could handle it.

This book has a really strong cast of characters, really good romance and great messages about sex and slut-shaming in the book. Astrid is practically a genius in comparison to a lot of th
Mar 31, 2011 Priscilla rated it really liked it
Fantastically surprised to how much I enjoyed this read!

1) The mythology. Oh my! I'm kind of a nerd, so when this book get's deep into the myth of the unicorns I was utterly fascinated. Yes, I'm going to be looking into these myths right after this.
2) Kick-ass females. There's a lot of them here that wield swords, bows, axes, daggers, and cross bows.
3) Unicorns are scary. No one likes to be cut, not even by a unicorn. I love how I'm terrified by them now.
4) Romance?!! WHAAA?? Some great gush-wor
Ellen Sara
Nov 24, 2009 Ellen Sara rated it really liked it
When Astrid's potential prom date is attacked by a unicorn not only is her social life in ruins but she realizes her eccentric mother has been right all along. Unicorns do exist and they aren't the happy my little ponies we have been led to believe they are. They are man eating monsters with poisonous sharp horns. Astrid's mother said they were extinct and is ecstatic to find out they aren't. Now Astrid can embrace her heritage as a unicorn hunter.

Astrid is a descendent of a famous unicorn hunte
Chantele Sedgwick
Aug 26, 2009 Chantele Sedgwick rated it liked it
When I heard of this book, "killer unicorns" I thought it would be pretty cool. I mean, all I've ever heard about unicorns was how beautiful and pure they were, and in this book they are nothing but sharp teeth and poisonous horns.
While the overall idea is unique, I just couldn't get a good picture of a razor sharp tooth, man eating unicorn in my head. I tried, I really did, but I just kept thinking of a beautiful white, not dangerous, horse with a horn. ;)
Astrid was a good character. She grew
Dec 11, 2008 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Go Team Unicorn!

I've always been a fan of unicorns, stemming from the days of Legend starring Tom Cruise. I guess I've always been mesmerized by magic and mythology. Things that aren't "real" but.... could they be?

Rampant has revived my love for mythology and magic, in the form of flesh eating unicorns!

Plain and simply this book was awesome. Unique and action-packed, not to mention a little bit of romance thrown in... I could not put it down. I loved the mythology surrounding this novel and won
Sep 12, 2009 Beth added it
Shelves: ya, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 02, 2009 Summer rated it did not like it
I'm SO disappointed. I've read a lot of bad reviews on this book but the premise was too interesting for me not to give it a try. Unfortunately I have to agree with the other reviewers on this one. Which is a complete shame since ideas here are really fun. Killer Unicorns! And the idea of a school in Rome with teenagers training to kill them was pretty neat too. It could have totally kicked butt in my opinion.
I just found the writing poor, even for YA, and after a while I had to put it down. Wh
Steph Su
Feb 10, 2009 Steph Su rated it liked it
Shelves: own-arc, signed
Never have I read such an interesting story about unicorns as Diana Peterfreund’s RAMPANT. This book is jam-packed with lore and fighting without taking away from Peterfreund’s signature writing style.

Diana’s greatest ability is in making each and every character stand out without resorting to clichés. There are easily a dozen characters to keep track of, and yet no real effort is required to do so. Each character has a distinctive voice and his or her own motivations and vulnerabilities, and no
Sep 17, 2012 Kate rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. And for the first bit, I did enjoy it. Killer venomous unicorns in the modern world, and a girl with special powers whose mother forces her to go to a sketchy school in Rome to learn how to fight them. But I ended up hating the book, mostly for its treatment of rape.

Trigger and spoilers abound. (view spoiler)
Sep 19, 2010 Tracy rated it it was amazing
There is a trend that's becoming increasingly popular in teen fiction, and it's hiding a moral principle inside an edgy narrative (think Uglies/physical perfection). This novel's principle is hardly hiding, but instead becomes essential to the plot and enhances character development.

While virginity and sex is not a theme I'd normally appreciate in a book, Diana Peterfreund handles it impartially while at the same time voicing many different opinions. I thought it was especially appropriate for
Miranda ❤️
May 24, 2015 Miranda ❤️ rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on my blog Miranda's Book Blog or follow me on Bloglovin

Warrior virgins, hunting unicorns. Can't get any better than that! Right away I knew I'd like this book. (And that I didn't much care for Brandt who's sole purpose in life was to get into Astrid's pants).
The idea of killer uniforns is completly original and I love how the author intertwined mythology into the plot and it centers around strong women! Needless to say shit goes down in this book, bigtime!!

There is some ro
Margaret Stohl
Aug 27, 2009 Margaret Stohl rated it it was amazing
The best fantasy books are the ones that take themselves the most seriously. Rampant is a deeply layered, richly historied universe, with lore within lore and plans within plans, as they say in Dune... The modernization of the mythological unicorn is hugely successful, as is the more ancient connections to the mythical past of the huntress. Read this book along with Malinda Lo's ASH. 2009 is the year of the huntress!
Colleen Houck
Killer unicorns. I know, right? What a premise! I kept thinking there's got to be some catch, that these beautiful creatures aren't really killers, not really. You're going to have to read the book and find out for yourself what the true story is. Really, really like the backstory of Alexander the Great here. That was so cool. And I love the bonus unicorn info in the back of the paperback.
Full Review Link

First Impressions:

Thea: WOW. I had a vague idea of what to expect from Ms. Peterfreund having read her excellent Secret Society Girl – but Rampant completely blew me out of the water. Or knocked me off my horse. Or unicorn. Whatever analogy, the important thing is that Rampant surpassed all of my expectations. This is a remarkably imaginative, painstakingly researched, and impeccably written novel. Not only is the core concept fantastic with its delineations of unicorn species an
Aug 03, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Killer. Unicorns. Together now: killer unicorns. Those are two words that should not and could not be paired together, at least in my mind. Yet Peterfreund does just that in her novel Rampant, and with no small degree of success.

Astrid Llewelyn has grown up being the one girl who didn't enjoy hearing about unicorns. Ever since she was little, her mother has filled her head with supposedly true stories of evil unicorns who attacked humans with their sharp teeth and venomous horns. And the knowled
Sep 05, 2009 Charity rated it it was amazing
I picked up the book at 4:30pm. I read straight through until 12:30am and had only 20 pages to go when I absolutely had to go to bed so I could at least be in some acceptable shape for work the next day. In a word: RAMPANT is addictive, and like the alicorn venom that affects the body at an alarmingly fast rate, the book takes hold of the reader from the moment the first unicorn shows and doesn't let go until you've read it all the way through. Except, you know, reading the book doesn't give you ...more
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Killer unicorns 3 16 Jan 31, 2015 02:48PM  
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Diana Peterfreund has been a costume designer, a cover model, and a food critic. Her travels have taken her from the cloud forests of Costa Rica to the underground caverns of New Zealand (and as far as she’s concerned, she’s just getting started). Diana graduated from Yale University in 2001 with dual degrees in Literature and Geology, which her family claimed would only come in handy if she wrote ...more
More about Diana Peterfreund...

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“Amazing how being bathed in arterial blood can wash out any lingering romantic disappointments.” 36 likes
“I found the hum of his computer rather soothing, but it was the complete lack of unicorn carcasses that really pulled the room together.” 26 likes
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