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Unicorn Tracks

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  122 reviews
After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Paperback, 180 pages
Published April 21st 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
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Julia Ember The cover was designed by Meghan Moss! She's pretty much a genius and did the header image on my website as well! They're both actually paintings. We'…moreThe cover was designed by Meghan Moss! She's pretty much a genius and did the header image on my website as well! They're both actually paintings. We're currently talking about whether she will also do the covers for my trilogy! I hope so. I love her. (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  293 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Whitney Atkinson
DNF at page 86.

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.
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Julia Ember.)

“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 poa
✨    jami   ✨
more of a 3.5* I loved the setting of this one so much. The unicorns and other mythical creatures being woven into the story, as well as the South East African inspired setting was the best. Like, honestly unicorns ?? UNICORNS. I love them. I also liked the "stop the poachers" plot line, and another review noted it felt like The Wild Thornberries movie, which I totally agree with

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
sil ♡ the book voyagers

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
Suki Fleet
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: snuggles, ya, 2016, cover-love, f-f
Beautiful YA romance full of excitement and adventure.

"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
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
reading this book was an experience! and one I enjoyed it. I avoided reading too much about the synopsis but I was sold after lesbian romance and unicorns.

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
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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
Michelle Ellis
The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. I mean right?!

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
Review also posted on Samodivas

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
Olivia Chanel's Stories in Space
Thank you Julia Ember for my review copy of Unicorn Tracks!

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
Chasia Lloyd
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever thought "I really wish someone would write a book about two girls going on an adventure, there is some unicorns and other fantastical creatures, the setting draws some heavy African inspirations, and maybe those two girls have some hot kissing scenes"? All right, maybe that's a very niche wish. I didn't know I really wanted it either until I read the synopsis for Unicorn Tracks. And this book blew my expectations away.

It's on the shorter end of fantasies, but the pages are dense wi
Melanie McFarlane
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
With tragedy one can find sweet beauty. This sums up UNICORN TRACKS for me. 

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
Frannie Pan
DNF @ 53%.

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 does
Nina Rossing
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, 2015
When I read a fantasy novel, I usually have to work a bit with myself to get into its world and believe in it. With Julia Ember's novel, I found that the world-building was so believable it could have taken place somewhere in our actual world, and this is a feeling I rarely get from fantasy stories.

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
Saruuh Kelsey
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unicorns and lesbians? Possibly the best combination ever.

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
Naomi Tajedler
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I went a little backwards here, reading the author's first book after another one, but The Seafarer's Kiss converted me to Ember's style, and a title with Unicorns? I was not going to pass that opportunity.
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
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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
K.T. Hanna
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A vivid, deftly-woven tale, about finding strength in the face of adversity.

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
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with Unicorn Tracks, with its incredible sense of place, vivid and imaginative mythology, gripping and intriguing plot and wonderful characterisation. The relationship between Mnemba and Kara is a delightful exploration of mutual respect, friendship, trust and desire. From mermaids, to Grelbok, the creatures of the book were beautifully imagined and described. And the unicorns were truly majestic. Like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them meets The Silver Brumby, with the adven ...more
Carrie Pack
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book! I've been trying all day to come up with what to say for this review and I still don't know. One thing I definitely want to mention is I love that this book featured a big girl as a love interest for a WOC who was also a rape survivor. I really liked the way Mnemba's trauma from the sexual assault was handled (it's not graphic, but it might be triggering for some readers).

I think my favorite part was the seamless way mythical creatures were woven into the story. I really and
CR Daylex
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Maybe more like a 4 but I love Unicorns more than life so I'm giving it 5.

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.
Lauren James
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia
A unique and refreshing addition to the LGBT YA genre. Diverse and exciting, with some of the best mythical creatures I'm ever seen (those mermaids!). Can't wait for more of Julia's writing! ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indie-books
Quick thoughts (right after reading)
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
Avery (Book Deviant)
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

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
Check out this review and more on my blog!

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
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
*I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*

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
Esther (Chapter Adventures)
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: requested-review
You can also check this review on my blog!

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
Quite The Novel Idea ~ Words from the Clouds

This was such a nice read! I'll be honest though and say that it's hard for me to review shorter books because there's usually not that much to talk about. Not that this book lacked substance. Not in the least. Unicorn Tracks managed to meet my expectations and then some!

The writing in this book was very vivid and I really felt like I was there with Mnemba and Kate sometimes. I haven't read many books with Africa as a backdrop and it was very nice. It
This really should have fallen in the category of urban fantasy but the author chose to "create" her own geography by simply renaming the very recognizable England and African savannahs.

That annoyed me. But admittedly, it's a small detail.

But the rest of it was decent. A YA fantasy that steps outside the norm. It's somewhat like Out of Africa. The daughter of a chief for reasons of her own has gone off to work for her cousin as a safari guide. But in this Africa, all kinds of mystical creatures
Calista Lynne
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unicorn Tracks was a lovely book with honest descriptions and charming characters. Julia Ember has done a great job of making a story that is both frank and full of whimsy and even though it was undoubtedly fantasy, I believed every word of it.

“Two safari guides and a pair of foreigners out to save the world. What could go wrong?”

Well, a lot in this novel goes right. My personal favorite character was a side one named Tumelo but there’s also a great deal to love about the main couple. And, I me
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Julia Ember’s books include The Seafarer’s Kiss duology, a Norse myth inspired retelling of The Little Mermaid, published by Interlude Press (Duet Books), and Ruinsong, a standalone high fantasy reimagining of The Phantom of the Opera, published by Macmillan Kids (FSG) in November 2020.

Ember’s work has been featured in USA Today, Bustle, Book Riot and Autostraddle, among many others. Julia has a

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