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Ascendant (Killer Unicorns, #2)
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Ascendant (Killer Unicorns #2)

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3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,009 Ratings  ·  294 Reviews
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 not ...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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AH
Oct 05, 2010 AH rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Killer Unicorn lovers everywhere
Beware of the Killer Unicorns! 4.5 stars!

There I was, dancing with glee. I won a book about killer unicorns! Killer Unicorns, of all things, in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

When you think of unicorns, what do you think of? Do you think of majestic beasts, full of magic, sparkles, and rainbows? Or do you think of blood-thirsty, fanged, poisonous creatures that enjoy killing? If you chose the latter, well, those are the unicorns you’ll find in Ascendant.

Ascendant takes place in our world, exc
...more
Colleen Houck
I love the warrior side of Astrid. She's so brave. The answer to where the remedy comes from was such a surprise. Didn't see that coming at all. My favorite thing about this book was Angel. Hope there is a book three coming.
Reeva
Sep 08, 2011 Reeva rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
Mar 19, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: youngadult, fantasy
So, I have a lot of feelings about this book. I stayed up very late to finish it, because about 100 pages before the ending, $#!& got REAL and I could not put it down. But the middle was a bit laggy. And sad. I love Astrid with all my heart, she is one of the greatest heroines in YA right now, but I wanted to shake her. THEY'RE SICK, ASTRID, HELP THEM! Also in need of a shaking? Phil and Neil. Also Astrid's mom, but that's always been the case.

I really love, though, the direction that Peter
...more
Paradoxical
I had mixed feelings when I read Rampant, where I teeter between loving the premise and disliking the execution. Ascendant turned out much the same way for me. It's difficult to articulate why I don't like this book more--there are unicorns! There are killer unicorns, which is something that never fails to make me happy (shush, this makes perfect sense to me). There are also a bunch of virgin girls running around killing unicorns, which sort of just made me shrug. There's also the push and pull ...more
April
Jun 17, 2010 April rated it it was amazing
As much as I would love to write a full-review of Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund, there's still a lot of months until it is out, so I think it's more prudent to give a quick and dirty mini-review, and NO, not that kind of dirty.

Ascendant is a direct sequel to the super-awesome Rampant, which I actually really enjoyed. With Ascendant, the intros and exposition is pretty much out of the way so the book gets right on down to business. There is absolutely more sexual tension, more unicorns, more act
...more
Rachael Sherwood
Aug 30, 2011 Rachael Sherwood rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I didn’t write much for Rampant, but after finishing Ascendant I think this series deserves more than a one sentence review. I am so glad that when I first picked up Rampant that I had no idea it was about killer unicorns. I am sure I would have skipped it, and I’d be missing out if I had.
The series follows Astrid Llewellyn, a unicorn hunter descended from one of the most famous hunters of all time. In this world, unicorns are not friendly glorified ponies. They are intelligent predators that hu
...more
Kim
Feb 22, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
There is good news and bad news about Ascendant, the second in Peterfreund's YA series about unicorn hunters. The bad news is that this appears to be the second book in a trilogy, but as of yet, the third book has not been picked up for publication. This is a sad thing because I've really been enjoying this series, and there are definitely questions raised in Ascendant that need a third book to answer. The good news is that, while Ascendant was clearly written and succeeds much better as the sec ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for TeensReadToo.com

In RAMPANT, Diana Peterfreund introduced us to the darker side of unicorns and Astrid, the unicorn hunter. In ASCENDANT, Astrid's adventures continue. Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid is given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and go to France to help in discovering the Remedy.

Unfortunately, leaving Rome doesn't solve Astrid's problems.

She is put in charge of a herd of Einhorns and discovers there's more to the unicorns than she thoug
...more
ambyr
People who know me know I sometimes--even often--read the ends of books first. I have been told variously that this is a tragedy, a blasphemy, and just plain inexplicable. Why do I want to spoil myself?

Because for me, the pleasure of reading a book isn't the final surprise; it's watching the pieces fit together. I like dramatic irony. I like the question being not "where are we going?" but "how are we going to get there?" In a good book--or at least, a certain kind of good book--the latter provi
...more
Amanda
Sep 26, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I'll never doubt the genius of books centered around killer unicorns ever again. Seriously. Diana Peterfreund has made me a believer, which is something I'm certain few authors, given the same task, could have accomplished.

Although Astrid and her fellow unicorn-hunters have successfully eradicated the killer kirin that were hiding out in Italy and stopped their collaboration with the biomedical company Gordian, their problems are far from over. Unicorn attacks are becoming more frequent
...more
Wealhtheow
Astrid Llewellyn was raised by a mother obsessed with unicorns. But to hear her tell it, unicorns aren't the fluffy, innocent creatures of myth, but savage, blood-thirsty monsters. And to everyone's surprise, it turns out Astrid's mother was right. The unicorns' last hidden preserve has been lost, and now they're out into the world again. And they're hungry for fresh meat.

Luckily, it turns out that Astrid really has inherited unicorn hunting abilities. She and a small group of other young women
...more
Tiff
Won't reveal anything since this is not out till October (I read an ARC that I was lucky to receive at BEA) - but let me just say this was the perfect sequel to Rampant. Ascendant is full of action and suspense, and more than lives up to the high expectations that are held by fans of Rampant.
Alexandra
I didn't adore Rampant, the first book, but I was very curious to see where Peterfreund would take Astrid and her fellow unicorn-hunters. This sequel was a bit darker than the first, but overall has many of the same preoccupations: the difficulties of committing yourself to a life of killing and celibacy when you're sixteen, the difficulties of being forced together with a bunch of girls you don't know and have little in common with, occasionally having to deal with a crazy mother. So while I di ...more
Krys

Last year I read Rampant by Diana Peterfreund and I quite liked it. Enough to recommend it to others, and enough to want to pick up Ascendant when it released this year. My initial knee jerk response to the sequel was one of disappointment. I didn't much like the beginning of this book. And then fifty pages in I got over that.

We pick up in Rome with Astrid living in the Cloisters, lamenting her fate, and wilting under the constraints of the gruesome task set upon her. The Cloisters has lost its
...more
Katie
Sep 02, 2010 Katie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, favorites
Ascendant blew me away. I didn’t think it could be any better than the first, but wow. Everything was heightened and way more intense- the sexual tension, the action, the emotion. I finished this book with a heavy breath.

As much as I absolutely loved Rampant, we didn’t get much of a change of scenery outside of the Cloisters. In Ascendant, Astrid steps away from Rome and finds new challenges with the unicorns in a completely new environment. We’re introduced to new characters and we learn more a
...more
Kate
Aug 02, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
After falling in love with Rampant, the first novel in the series, I just HAD to read the next novel. Ascendant early on has the same feeling as Rampant. Girl power, a little romance, and the always fabulous killer unicorns. But don't let that fool you... Ascendant has a darker side.

In a lot of ways, I think of this series (at least thus far) as two parts to a coin. Rampant is kick butt and takes names side. The "Yes, I am a unicorn hunter. Wanna make something of it?" type novel. In contrast, A
...more
Michaela
Aug 17, 2011 Michaela rated it really liked it
It's hard for my to gather my thoughts on this book, because on one hand I really enjoyed it,but on the other hand,some(many)things about this book really infuriated me.


Pros:Loved Isabeau, she was a grate character and I loved her from the first scene she was in, when Astrid was with Isabeau and the einhorn's, were the bests parts of this book. The Cory and Val's relationship is so cute. The writing was beautiful and flowed really nicely. Phil, as always stole the show with every scene she was i
...more
Kelly
Nov 01, 2010 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
qingling
Jun 12, 2011 qingling rated it liked it
This book was the second book of the Killer Unicorns series by Diana Peterfreund. I read the first book in eighth grade, I guessed, and totally loved the book. I didn't know that there was a second book until I accidentally found it in the library. I was eager to get started reading. but the book turned out pretty disappointing to me. Astrid's boyfriend (Giovanni) had moved back to New York, leaving Astrid behind. They wanted to have a long-distance relationship, but it turned out not going so w ...more
Elizabeth
Dec 04, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Astrid Llewelyn is a reluctant unicorn hunter. There aren't very many due to the fact that only descendants of Alexander the Great that are virgins are eligible for the task. Recruitment has been slow since many potential hunters make themselves ineligible for the job to avoid the danger that is being advertised in the news, mostly by Astrid's attention seeking mother. Astrid lives in a nunnery in Italy with her fellow hunters. She would rather be in a lab, trying to find a way to replicate the ...more
JoLee
Jan 10, 2016 JoLee rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2011, paper
One of the major outcomes of reading Zombies vs. Unicorns was that it made me wonder why I still hadn't read Diana Peterfreund's sequel to Rampant , Ascendant . So, I got right on it. I enjoyed this second book even better than the first. Granted Rampant wasn't what I was expecting (whatever that was) and now I had a better idea of what this killer unicorn world was like.

In this second novel Astrid is really struggling to balance the opposing forces in her life--the magic and the mundane, g
...more
MissHavoc {Cry Havoc! Reviews}
Jun 22, 2010 MissHavoc {Cry Havoc! Reviews} rated it really liked it
First I just want to rant a little about how there ISN'T GOING TO BE A THIRD BOOK! At least not anytime soon. Which really upset me 'cause I love me some Killer Unicorns! That also had to bring Ascendant down to a 4 star, because if this is how it ends...it just isn't enough. I think we need to start a petition so that we can get some more Killer Unicorns!

OK, on to the review! Loved it! Want to give it 5 stars, but really, if this is how it ends, NOTHING is resolved! (*frustrated growl*) Astrid
...more
Raíla Soares
Jul 28, 2010 Raíla Soares rated it really liked it
Sincerely, I wasn't expecting much from this one, since Rampant ended very peacefully to me, and then I was surprised that I enjoyed this sequel a lot more, though happened to me the same thing about the beginning: I took pages and pages to really get into the story. But, in Ascendant, we come to face another historical, present aspect regarding the actaeon, the Llewelyn family and the Remedy—there are mysteries to be solved, lots of discoveries, and everything fits well.

What made me a little bi
...more
Erika
Sep 30, 2010 Erika rated it really liked it
I am reviewing an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.

After the incident at Cerveteri, the world knows all about real unicorns. Lilith Llewelyn is making the American television news circuits, spinning various yarns to influence how the media portrays the daughter and other girls she left behind in a French cloister. There, under the Order of the Lioness, their innate hunting abilities are honed with other useful skills such as archery and the quickest way to remove an alicorn (a unic
...more
Cristy
Nov 11, 2010 Cristy rated it it was amazing
Wow, not what I was expecting.. really great read, but very different then the first book. First off Ascendant has a much heavier, more serious vibe then the "lighter" depth of Rampant, book one.
We really get a taste of the woman and warrior that Astrid is becoming, as she grows and matures in Ascendant. She is faced with some big ethical issues and decisions of morality, right and wrong and her place in it all. Once again, Diana Peterfreund's writing is captivating and fluid, as she continues
...more
Anna
I genuinely felt unhappy when I finished reading this book. I adored Rampant, so I was expecting a ramped up (sorry) story to continue in the sequel. Instead, I felt that the majority of the book focused on Astrid dancing back and forth on every single issue: should unicorns should be hunted or not? Should she remain a virgin/hunter or not. Should she pick Brandt or Giovanni? Cloisters or Gordian Pharmaceuticals? So many choices.

There were several parts in the book that felt to me like they were
...more
Z Fernandez
Jan 06, 2016 Z Fernandez rated it liked it
Possible spoiler ahead...

OK so, the story revolves around a sixteen year old girl, so expect to see a lot of rants about how she didn't have a choice, that she wanted to be some place else, doing something else, and other stuff. Well anyway, she's a teenager so I won't judge her (much) for that. Only thing I thought was ridiculous was the sex thing, I mean, I know Astrid wanted out, and the first thing she does is jump the first guy she went out with. I thought she was smart? It was sorta good t
...more
Viola
Oct 29, 2015 Viola rated it liked it
I liked the overall story - but I felt that things ended kind of...eh. I felt like there was SOMEWHERE the story could have gone, and it was almost like half the story was missing. The author left too many loose ends for my taste, but I loved the overall idea. I loved how instead of hunting, Astrid actually began to love the unicorns. I do feel that things could have been explain more, or at least stretches out a bit. She kind of just said : yep, this happened and now we're here. I understand wh ...more
Dreamer
Mar 01, 2015 Dreamer rated it liked it
This review was originally published on Narrative Investigations

There is going to be a third book in this series which immediately clears up a few of my questions about it. It's been several years since this book and, with no publishing date on the horizon and Peterfreund has been working on other titles, that does make me a bit worried since this book is a terrible place to end a series. It's not obvious when you read the book, the story disguises it with grace, but Astrid's story is a very cla
...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Killer Unicorns (2 books)
  • Rampant (Killer Unicorns, #1)

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“Gordian pays you to sleep with unicorn hunters. That's the definition of a whore.” 3 likes
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