Anna's Reviews > Horn

Horn by Peter M. Ball
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's review
Mar 06, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: horror
Read in August, 2009

In a lot of ways, Horn sticks pretty close to what have become the standards of urban fantasy. The protagonist is a chick with a lot of fight in her and strong ties to the supernatural du jour. She has a tormented love life and has to deal with a bunch of men working on the case who'd prefer to never have to deal with her or the otherworldy critters. Although she's allegedly working with the police, it's Aster who does most of the footwork and who, in fact, solves the mystery. The city setting is simultaneously gritty and a bit generic. This could be the underbelly of any city in North America, which means the setting doesn't particularly stand out.

On the other hand... dude, the underaged victim has been raped to death by a unicorn in a nasty snuff film. Aster only maintains a semblance of power over the fey with a technicality: since she's gay, she's a virgin by the literal definition, never having had sex with a man. Also, she's died and been brought back, not as an undead, but to full life. No vampires or zombies here.

Obviously, this is one dark and twisted story. I spent awhile trying to figure out how to review this one, because the dark elements are so unexpected it spun my head around. It's not the sort of thing I could recommend to anyone, but odds are good if you read "unicorn" and "rape" in the same sentence and instead of having your brain explode, you thought "wow, that sounds really interesting and original," this is probably something you should be looking deeper into, because a premise like this one isn't something you're likely to come across again.

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