Lenore Appelhans's Reviews > Rampant

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
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Mar 03, 09

bookshelves: own-hardcover
Read in March, 2009

16 year old Astrid has always thought her mother was nuts with all her talk of killer unicorns and how they were driven to extinction by a virgin ancestor. But when Astrid’s best chance for a prom date is mauled by a unicorn in an apparent reemergence, Astrid discovers the truth behind the legends and joins a convent of virgin warrior maidens in Rome charged with protecting mankind from the foul beasts.

Sounds kind of out there doesn’t it? But Author Peterfreund has done her research and actually bases both the virgin warriors and the killer creatures on historical myths and legends, and weaves them perfectly into the tapestry of this thrilling novel. (

There are so many things to love about this book. Let’s start with the characters. There are a lot of them, but even the supporting players get distinctive enough personalities that you can tell them apart. There’s Astrid - the type of sarcastically hilarious, fiercely loyal girl you want as a best friend (and want on your side in the case of a killer unicorn apocalypse). There’s also her free-spirited and athletic cousin Philippa. And there are the couple of boys that become serious threats to their virginity and their powers. (Abstinence programs take note – this book makes a great case for keeping your virginity!)

I also loved that the book takes you on an emotional journey with Astrid. There are the highs of a successful hunt, a stolen kiss (ok, a lot of stolen kisses), and discovering the benefits of her powers. But there are also the lows of defeat, of discouragement, of wanting to give it all up.

One last thing I want to mention is how much I enjoyed the scenes with Bonegrinder, the small unicorn of the zhi variety that lives with the convent girls. She is as sweet as a kitten to virgins but gores anyone else. Every time she was around, I just wanted to cuddle my kitten even tighter.
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