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Bad Unicorn

(Bad Unicorn #1)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,148 ratings  ·  236 reviews
In this start to a hilarious middle-grade fantasy trilogy, Max Spencer discovers that a killer unicorn is hunting him.

It wasn't Max Spencer's idea to fight robots, lead an army, or save the world—it just so happens that he's the only living person who can read the most fantastical book ever written: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The Codex is no ordinary book, and amon
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Aladdin
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Mathis C. It's for all age groups, if you can read, you can read this book. It is really funny and it can get any reader interested.…moreIt's for all age groups, if you can read, you can read this book. It is really funny and it can get any reader interested.(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  1,148 ratings  ·  236 reviews

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Tamara Richman
Can I give 6 stars? Pretty, pretty please? I want to give 6 stars for 3 reasons:

1) Not only is this a bad unicorn but it is a bad robo-princess unicorn

2) Favorite chapter title: Never step between a unicorn and her tofu

3) My 12 year old and I literally had a tug of war about whose turn it was to read the book.

Seriously folks, this book is awesome. It reminds me so much a blend of Hitchhikers and all the young downtrodden nerd boy turns into magician and discovers his inner strength books.

I did
Melissa Chung
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52-in-2018
What an amazingly cute, creative and funny middle grade. I absolutely loved it. This book took me a little over a month to read because I only read a chapter or so a day. I am rating this book 4 stars. It had a wonderful villain, a great cast of side characters and a realistic main character. I loved the world Bad Unicorn took place in and I'm excited to see where it will go next.

Bad Unicorn is about two main characters if you will, the protagonist Max Spencer and the antagonist Princess the Des
E.J. Patten
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I liked this book so much, I blurbed it. It's seriously funny, which is a contradiction in terms, but true all the same. If you like books, especially the kind with words in them, I highly, highly recommend this one. ...more
Michael Gee
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Where on earth does Platte Clark come up with his wit and off the wall humor? As I began reading the book, from the first warning about copyright infringement and being licked by fire kittens and hung up on the tree of Woe,I knew this was going to be a very interesting read. At some points I felt like I was reading a fantasy version of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" mixed with some unsuspecting twists and turns, and an abundance of dry wit.

Mr. Clark has very cleverly created one of the most
I really wanted to like this. It had all sorts of humor potential and it was recommended by a bookstore buyer I respect. But I couldn't love it. I barely tolerated it and ended up mostly skimming it. The premise was fine, but it was full of way too much adult humor. It was sort of like a kids movie with a few adult jokes in it to keep the adults from going insane. There were political jokes, for heaven's sake. My personal favorite was that a frobit died in the Great Gore Fest which turned out to ...more
D.J. Butler
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome. D&D nerd inherits the world's most powerful book of magic, and must master it to be able to fight an evil carnivorous unicorn.

I plant my flag as the first person to have written a filk song about Bad Unicorn. Here it is:

Becky B
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Princess the unicorn is bad. You know, she's a unicorn. They go around zapping creatures to dust with their horns or eating them raw for breakfast. And Princess is the most conniving, evil, sinister...and hungriest unicorn around. She's had orc, and goblin, and frobbit, but she wants something new and tastier. Something like those unmagical, sure to be scrumptious humans on Techrus (aka Earth). The trouble is, getting to Techrus from the Magrus isn't all that easily. Happily for Princess, though ...more
Ali Lassús
Apr 25, 2013 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. It sounded epic! But it was bad. Oh boy, was it bad. Plot holes, crummy characterization, and an ending that #1. was confusing and stupid, and #2. rendered half the book entirely pointless. Even the nerdy references, which I normally love, did nothing for me. I would not recommended it.
Sarah B
The unicorn in this book is nothing like what I had expected (even though I was expecting a nasty, dangerous meat-eating one) and that did throw me for a loop for awhile but in the end I actually ended up enjoying this story. In fact I just placed an order for the sequel with my library. So what was it that turned the story around? It was the fact the main characters were all willing to risk their own lives to save others like the ice faeries and the little frobbits (I think they are similar to ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Bad Unicorn is well... weird. VERY weird, and a tad disturbing ((view spoiler)), but mostly really funny (often at the most disturbing points). My sister read this first and compared it to Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz with its clever offbeat humor (the squirrels and zombie duck come to mind), but it mostly reminded me of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams in their more darkly (and deliciously ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Max Spencer is an ordinary nerd, hiding from bullies and trying to keep his grades up so he doesn't get grounded. Except for The Codex of Infinite Knowability, a book he's had with him all his life, that no one else can touch without being shocked. A book no one else can read.

It turns out an evil sorcerer wants that book--and Max. And he's set Princess the Destroyer, a unicorn who loves to hunt, kill, and eat other beings, and destroys with powerful spells anyone who gets in her way. She's from
Jun 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Bad Unicorn is like a cross between Harry Potter, Scooby Doo and Monty Python. Definitely a kooky, "punny" adventure.

Max is the reluctant hero who discovers the Codex of Infinite Knowability under his bed. He shows it off at school and finds out that he is the only person who can actually read it. His best friend, Dirk, new friend and potential crush, Sarah and stereotypical dwarf, Dwight, get sucked into a time-traveling quest that none of them could have anticipated.

Meanwhile, across time and
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bad Unicorn successfully smashes any preconceived notions of the likability of Unicorns. There are no rainbows, no glitter, no granting of wishes. Only an insatiable appetite to eat . . . everyone, especially humans untouched by magic!

I seriously LOVED this book! So much so that my husband is probably tired of me talking about it, and lucky him . . . I just finished the sequel (I liked this book so much that I petitioned the library to buy the sequel)! The humor was my favorite part. It was clev
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's rare to read a truly unique story. This book delivers a whole new idea, and it's funny. In Greek mythology Athena isn't born but falls fully formed from the head of Zeus. This book must have been born in a similar manner. The world the characters live in is too well-formed to be anything else. My 10-year-old is up next to read it, and I hope she likes it, too. ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I love, love, love the cover of this book. The story itself? Meh. It's not horrible, but it started off slowly. And I didn't realize when I picked it up that it's the first book in a series. Not sure I'll look for the other two installments.

May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars

The first in a fantasy series following a couple of points of views. Princess, the bad unicorn and her wizard companion on quest for an untainted meal, and Max, the descendent of a powerful wizard.

Max reads a book no one else can, he and his friends unwittingly get caught in a battle, they travel to different worlds and times, and meet magical creatures.

Interesting enough story, slightly humorous in sections, some likeable and unlikeable characters, a few pop culture references, and a pi
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya
This is the most clever, most creative book I've read in a LONG time!
Super hero's journey!
Magnificent characters and supporting characters! Smart vocab!
This would make a GREAT movie!
It's a bit much, rather exhausting but SUCH A GREAT READ!!!
I can't wait to read more!

Joshua Hair
Sep 17, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in a long while. I’ll have a proper review on my channel soon.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
In Bad Unicorn, first time young adult novelist Platte F. Clark builds a fantasy world that’s wonderfully complete, yet has room for more enticing development. (It will probably get a second visit in a follow up book.) This is the story of middleschooler Max Spencer and his three friends as they search for a way home when the guileless Max accidentally sends them, plus Dwight the dwarf to an abysmal future using the Codex of Infinite Knowability.

If you think that’s complicated, you’re right, and
Liz Friend
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
The story: Max is a geeky kid, picked on by bullies. Who would ever have guessed that he's the descendant of the greatest sorcerer ever known in the Magrus? Princess the Destroyer is a bad unicorn, and one of two magical creatures who can cross between Magrus (the magical realm) and Techrus (the human realm). Evil magician Rezormoor wants to be able to cross in order to find the Codex of Infinite Knowability (a book containing the 13 Prime Spells that will enable him to control everything). Prin ...more
Louise Bendall
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, fantasy, ya, humorous
Forget what you know about unicorns. They aren’t pink, sparkly creatures that love rainbows. They are vicious killers. As is apparent by the title, this book is about a particularly heinous unicorn that is set on the destruction of humankind.
Max is a seventh-grade guy, who just happens to be the only person able to read this strange book called “The Codex of Infinite Knowability.” This can only mean he must a powerful sorcerer – the only live descendent of the great Maximilian Sporazo. However,
Angela Holtz
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this to my 9 year old son. I don't think he understood all of the jokes, but I sure did. It was a very silly book that we all enjoyed. My favorite parts - "8 tickle points of doom!" and the zombie duck.

The story has a great flow that really keeps the excitement up. My son rarely took a break, and even if he wanted to read a picture book first, he always wanted this before going to sleep for the night. We are waiting our copy of the 2nd book in the series. Thank goodness for the sample fro
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This farcical/fable/sci fi/adventure is hilarious. You have to wonder about Platte Clark. I mean, is he mentally stable?

A carnivorous, maniacal, magical unicorn who is out to take over the world, and not just hers, but ours as well. The survival of human species depends on the magical abilities of a boy who struggles to make a B in school and can barely walk a mile, much less run one, whose only claim to fame is being the direct descendent of the most powerful wizard of all time and the heir t
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
He had me at the threat of being tied to the Tree of Woe and being licked by flame kittens. The foreword to the mythical Codex of Infinite Knowability left me supremely intrigued and in two pages had me laugh hard enough that I immediately made my boyfriend sit down to listen to it.
This book has been a truly enjoyable ride and I've been recommending it to many of my friends and their children. The language is challenging enough to keep the reading interesting without being too complicated. The
Kelli Panique
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the first 400+ page book my 11 year old has read and he says, "It was amazing!" Any book can that hold this reluctant reader's attention for that long is a winner in my book. Much of the appeal of Bad Unicorn is in the video game like mythology of alternate worlds and a codex book that contains the ultimate power. Thank you, Platte F. Clark for writing a book that has engaged this young mind. He has been bouncing around and announcing the world that he finished a book. He is so proud of ...more
This started with a hilarious bang, but didn't follow through; I found it overly long, repetitive, and lacking in characterization.

If you liked (or wanted to like) this book, you might also enjoy:

The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root
The Menagerie
A Tale Dark & Grimm series
Stephen Poltz
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whenever a book is compared to “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, I’m always a little cautious. So many books strive to have Douglas Adams’ quirky humor, but few achieve it. “Bad Unicorn” is the closest I’ve seen anyone get in a long time. It’s a YA novel about a magical robot princess unicorn that eats humans and the young boy that has to fight her to save the human race. It was simply delightful.

Visit my blog for the full review…
Naiya K
The book "Bad Unicorn" is about a boy named Max Spencer and his two friends, Dirk and Sarah. In another world, there is a VERY BAD unicorn that is promised a human buffet, as long as Princess (The unicorn's name) gets back a very special book that contains ancient magic. The book is in the hands of Max Spencer.

I really liked how fantasized this book was, containing wizards, dragons, and unicorns. So I rate this book 9/10 because a few times I didn't even understand things because it was so mag
Kyle Vandegrift
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think that this was pretty good. It started a bit slow and boring but once you got farther it got better. This book is about a unicorn that went bad. She had done many bad things and was hurting a lot of creatures. The main character, Max is going against her to try and stop her from doing more damage. Overall this book was decent and it would be a pretty good read. I definitely recommend to you that you read it.
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Goodreads Librari...: Small typo in book description 3 27 Jul 10, 2012 04:12PM  

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Platte F. Clark shares his first name with the midwestern Platte River, which he's been told means "wide and shallow." Despite that he was able to find a woman to marry and produce seven offspring with.

Platte graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Philosophy and an MS in English, and currently lives with his family in Utah.

Other books in the series

Bad Unicorn (3 books)
  • Fluff Dragon (Bad Unicorn, #2)
  • Good Ogre (Bad Unicorn, #3)

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