Paradoxical's Reviews > Ascendant

Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund
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's review
Nov 26, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011-reading-list, books-otherwise
Read in November, 2011

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 of a society coming to terms with unicorns actually being real! And wanting to eat people! As well as typical troubled teenage feelings.

That said, there are a lot of times when I feel what could have been a truly awesome premise and book has been made into something less enjoyable. Astrid's an interesting character, but I don't think I like her very much. Or rather, I like her, but sometimes the decisions she makes just make me unhappy all around. The other characters are varied and have their own reasons and feelings, but they hold very little of my interest, which mainly involves unicorns and Astrid's interactions with unicorns.

I was rather unhappy with the entire Brandt angle, and I've never been all that pleased with Giovanni, so I just rather disliked any romantic aspects and the consequent feelings about said romantic entanglements. I did, however, like Astrid's confusion and uncertainty over her feelings about the unicorns, and her eventual self discovery and firming of her opinions about that subject--though that took up just about the entire book.

The Big Bad in this book wasn't really. Said villain did have several villainous aspects, but overall they weren't... terrible. Which just made me just the teensiest bit fonder of the book.

Overall, I'm uncertain how I feel about the series. I was a bit "eh" with Rampant, and I can't say that Ascendant is so much different. The beginning of this book took me forever to get through because I couldn't believe some of what was said or done, but from the middle onwards, it wasn't bad. It wasn't all that great either. So, overall, 2-3 stars for this book, rounding down to 2.
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