Author: Diana Peterfreund
Series: 2nd in Killer Unicorns
Published: September 28, 2010 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from Star Book Tours
Description: Now a fully trained unicorn hunter, Astrid Llewelyn is learning that she can’t solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend has left Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend’s powers are mysteriously disintegrating, and her hope of becoming a scientist seems to be nothing but an impossible dream. So when she’s given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and use her skills as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants—or can she? At Gordian headquarters deep in France, Astrid begins to question everything she had 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 unicorns from the world?
After reading Rampant and enjoying it, I was hoping Ascendant would live up to it. I was surprised at the direction the author decided to take this one. I pretty sure anybody that it's an animal lover might have issues with it. I liked the story but had a hard time stomaching some of the issues the unicorns face. It's actually kind of heartbreaking. Plus, there's still the focus on sex and virginity. It's not in your face, but it's hard to not notice the small paragraphs talking about 15 year-olds losing their virginity just to avoid dealing with the unicorns.
Astrid grew in leaps and bounds in this one, but yet in some ways remains your typical teenager. In the beginning you can tell, she's still all about her duty. I'm not saying she likes killing unicorns, but she doesn't see an alternative. And she doesn't see what good all of her cousin's lobbying to protect the unicorns is going to do. But, in her days to day dealings with unicorns at Gordian headquarters, you can tell the direction she's headed. And this is a way she's a typical teen, she believes she can single-handedly save them all.
Her relationships in this one are really interesting. Of course the minute Giovanni lives to go back to the states, she begins to doubt her relationship. Which of course leads her to do stupid things. She's also far to trusting. I also like how her relationship with her cousin changes. At the beginning of the book, they are in different places. I think they reach a real understanding of each other in the end.