This book isn't bad, I just got bored every time I picked it up and I know if I finished it, it would only be 2.5 or 3 stars anyway. I just didn't care what happened to the characters. I like the fantasy world of this and that the girls were protecting unicorns, but their relationship had no angst and the story was predictable and rushed because this book is 150 pages long.
“Unicorns aren’t tameable. Everybody in Nazwimbe knows that.”
This was an interesting YA fantasy story, featuring some mythical creatures.
I liked Mnemba, she was a strong character, and I also liked Kate. I also thought that they worked well together as a couple.
The storyline in this had lots of interesting mythical creatures such as unicorns and mermaids, and also had poachers tr ...more
But on the flip side, I had trouble engaging with the writing style. It was easy to read, but for me there was no spar ...more
I still consider Unicorn Tracks one of my all-time favorite novels. However, this time around I’m lowering my rating from 5 stars to 4.5, as I noticed a few small details that fetus reviewer Liv did not.
Primarily, while this was a quick read — I read it in a matter of hours — I believe the length was also detrimental. The character development was a bit rushed, and the romance was slightly too close to insta-love for my tastes.
Otherwise, I enjoyed this story as ...more
The story takes place in Nazwimbe, which felt like a fantasy version of southern Africa. Mnemba leads people on safaris for phoenixes and other awesome creatures. Her backstory of trying to recover from a traumatic past was one of the stronger parts of the story. Kara (who comes from what seemed like an alternate version of England) shows up on the safari to research unicorns and th ...more
Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember, is a novel that is centered around a safari business that tracks both "normal" and mystical animals. The main character, Mnemba, guides travelers from afar on expeditions in hopes of showing them the natural and mystical surroundings of the savannah she calls home. It is this part of the book that initially what drove me to read it, and while it did meet some of my expectations, I felt as though there was a lot potential that was left unmet.
Unicorn Tracks is the kind of book everyone needs to read. It's a rather short novel but the content makes it up. You don't realize you're just eating up all these words and soon enough you find yourself with a big, out of this world love for these characters. Mnemba and Kara are queens of Cuteness and I ship them BAD BAD BAD. Plus the world surrounding them is pretty great and it is developed amazingly. To be honest, I want to take a tour with Mnemba and see all of these mythical creatures and ...more
"In Nazwimbe, we have a saying: what has been sealed in blood cannot be undone."
One of my favourite aspects of this story was the setting--the unusual animals, and the culture of Nazwimbe are wonderfully portrayed, and I really did feel the great spirit of adventure in this story.
"...the last wish of the dying gave special powers to the living that watched his soul depart."
I really loved all these wisdoms.
"How could I spend the night swappin ...more
at first it was very hard to understand the world and how everything worked there. I felt a bit underwhelmed with the lack of explanation and world building. but after I got more familiar with it, I really enjoyed this book.
the two main character shined, of course, but the relations they had with the rest of the cast were lovely.
definitely re ...more
Actual Rating: 4.5*
I really enjoyed this one. I just wish it had been a little longer. I'm going to unpack my feelings as one long ramble so don't mind me. The biggest takeaway is that I really recommend picking this one up.
Let me start by saying what I didn't like: the length. I thought this one was too short for everything that I thought should have been in here/expanded upon. I liked that there was a "Beast Guide ...more
Right away Embers immerses you into this fantasy safari land. As a reader you hear about creatures like Chimera and mermaids like they are rhinos and dolphins. Our main Pov is a female tour guide that works for her cousin.
A new set of tourists come to the camp in search of Unicorns. They are a father daughter duo and they have brought with them lots of research.
The romance in this book is a slow burn and I loved it. Th ...more
I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mnemba is an excellent tracker, which makes her the safari guide in her cousin Tumelo’s business. When the Harvings come to Nazwimbe in search of unicorns, Mnemba and Mr Harving’s daughter Kara discover a sinister plot at the edge of the savanna during their expedition. After a mission to gain more information goes awry, Mnemba and Kara must work together and seek the help of Nazwimbe’s general i ...more
Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember, I mean what do I even say? I’m absolutely in love with this piece of literature. It is a story rich in culture, magical creatures and girls. There is so much to appreciate and love about Unicorn Tracks, but most of all I love how it is a story about two girls who come from two very different places in the world with very different experiences. e have the main character Mnemba, a girl who has been through so ...more
It's on the shorter end of fantasies, but the pages are dense wi ...more
Mnemba takes a job with her cousin as a safari tour guide in a mystical wild, filled with griffins, mermaids, and other creatures. Here she takes the elite from the city of Echalend. But her next group, Kara and her father, are a pair of naturalists who study the elusive unicorn, taking Mnemba into an adventure tracking poachers who are as dangerous and rough as the land they take advantage of.
Among it all, romance bloo ...more
I was interested in reading this book since the moment I read the synopsis. Unicorns? Following tracks? A lesbian love story? HELL YEAH! They were all original elements that you don't see often in YA, especially the lesbian part. And we definitely need more of that.
Then I saw the cover and I was even more intrigued.
And then I started reading. And... I fell from the clouds and stepped back into reality.
I have no intention of being mean, of saying that this was a terrible book that doesn ...more
The setting is described with vivid and evocative language, and I often wanted to highlight passages of beautiful writing. Several mythical and fantastical creatures are part of the setting, and the ...more
Come for the rep, stay for the creatures. The relationship between Mnemba and Kara is so sweet, and sad in parts. I loved that Mnemba was a recovering victim - did not expect that but I loved how it was written. (And that her rapist was rotting in a pit. Please let this be the standard punishment everywhere.) Because of the obvious obstacles to a relationship, it's a bittersweet love, and it's so realistic.
The creatures were my favourite ...more
Unicorn Tracks blew. Me. Away!!
The world building is amazing--there was not a single moment where my mind was allowed to take a step back and say "yeah, alright, this is all fictional". No. It all felt real, from the heat described so well by Ember that I could feel it even in the temperate we ...more
A nice, good-paced adventure story. It was an easy read, entertaining and I liked the way mythology was used in the story. The mythological creatures were introduced in a way that it felt real, like any other animal that could be found on a safari trip.
I liked the way representation were used. The GLBT-aspect was woven in without making it be shown as something weird or extraordinary; the love story was woven into ...more
I love this book. The fantasy elements are beautifully presented - so much that it plays like a movie in your head. Mnemba is scarred and strong, and wears the scars of her past without letting them define her. She has an inner beauty that's reflected well throughout her point of view, and yet is feisty and strong, and determined in everything she pursues.
Kara is a bit of a whirlwind, a breath of fresh air in the otherw ...more
I think my favorite part was the seamless way mythical creatures were woven into the story. I really and ...more
The world was really cool and different.I don't really many fantasies that are based on Africa. Really well written. The kiss scenes were the best I've read in f/f.
Biggest issue I had was that the last 50 pages really needed to be 150. Seemed like too much happened too fast at the end.
1. The only disappointment with this book was the length. It was way too short for what could have been.
2. I loved the little details in this plot. There was so much diversity it was crazy! Not only was there racial diversity but there was also a character struggling through a sexual assault and even two girls falling in love. It was pretty great.
3. I loved our main character. I thought she was strong and fun but she asks never complained or rushed into a si ...more
Rich, fantastical story
I at once knew that I was going to love this book. I knew because it was a F/F romance, yes, and I also knew because it was fantasy, with unicorns and a WOC, badass main character with a headstrong, beautiful companion.
The idea of taking all of these mythical creatures and putting them in a safari was a feat on its own, and one that was pulled off flawlessly. I believed the whole safari business, and wanted to know more and ...more
If you somehow didn't already know, I love unicorns. I also love stories that feature leading LGBT+ ladies. So when I discovered that Julia Ember's debut novel combined these two things, I knew I had to have it.
I've had the pleasure of speaking to Julia Ember quite a bit on Twitter and she's absolutely lovely, as is her debut.
Unicorn Tracks takes place in a world not entirely unlike our own where fantastical creatures are the norm. It's common for touris ...more
Full detailed Review on my blog: Word Wonders
The writing in this book is good. Really good. The author has a way of telling her story that threads through your mind and keeps you flipping the pages. At some points, it was just straight up beautiful, it took me by surprise. Just read this and judge for yourself:
“A shrill melody floated on the air, rising higher like the climax of a song. Bending thr muscular crest of his ...more
Unicorn Tracks was a very enjoyable read that left me wanting for more. I found the concept of a 19th century safari with real and fantastical creatures very unique and I loved the representation that this book offered. Not only does this feature a positive lesbian relationship, but the couple is also interracial, which is not something we get to see in romance very often. When I finished this short novel, I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars because I t ...more
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She is the author of The Seafarer's Kiss and The Navigator's Touch, released by Interlude Press/Duet Books in 2017 and 2018. The duology features Norse retellings of The Little Mermaid and Peter Pan and was heavily influenced by Julia's postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at the University of St. Andrew ...more