Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Ascendant
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Page Count: 392 pages
Summary: Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can't solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend's powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can't help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.

So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want--or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world?

Review: I think there are some books that affect me in such a way that I can't do my standard bullet point reviews. The last book I finished, Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly was one of those and Ascendant definitely is. I think there's something in the rawness of these books that I can't make bullets about what I liked; I can ramble in paragraphs about it, however.

Ascendant took me a little too long to finish, but not for lack of interest. I'm glad I took it slow, because I could savor it. And even though it wasn't as fast-paced and exciting as Rampant was, with the whole, "Will she do it with Giovanni?" thing, I think it was definitely better for it. It was more mature. And you can definitely see the change in Astrid from the beginning of the book until the end. It wasn't some kind of dumb character development that I didn't believe - I really, really believed it. It was done so well.

I won't say I absolutely loved Ascendant, because I probably would've finished it earlier if I had, but the ending was awesome. I don't want to reveal too much, but Astrid is bad-ass. Even more bad-ass than in Rampant, if that's humanly possible. I know I like my characters to be kind of hard, to have a tough outer shell, but Astrid has to earn that, because that's not really the kind of person she is.

I'm really interested to see where this series goes!

Overall: 4/5 stars

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