Sunday, August 1, 2010
by Diana Peterfreund
Publication date: September 28, 2010
Received ARC signed by Diana Peterfreund at BEA 2010
Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she's learning that she can't solve all her problems with a bow and arrow. So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and go to France to put her skills to use discovering the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she wants - or can she? Soon 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?
After being blown away last year by Rampant, this was the one and only book that I was desperate, repeat desperate, to get an ARC of at BEA this year. I waited all day in long lines, with tired arms and pained feet, to stand in line with a huge grin on my face to get this book and to meet Diana Peterfreund. It was awesome!
When I sat down to read this, I had a moment's hestitation, afraid that it would not measure up to its predecessor. Rampant not only featured a great new heroine, but a fascinating new world...I mean, come on, killer unicorns? How could you not astound the YA lit world with rampaging killer unicorns??
Thankfully, my hesitation was short-lived. Ascendant not only lived up to Rampant, but I think surpassed its awesomeness. Astrid, now an acknowledged unicorn hunter, has to decide if she will continue to do her duty as a hunter, protecting humans around the globe, or if she'll go into private security to work in a quieter community and get the chance to go to school, work in a lab, and yes, be a little...well, safer.
Astrid faces challenges in both love and life in this book. She finds her moral code challenged, her ideas on family challenged, her heart divided, and well, pretty much everything in her life just falls apart. New, shockingly horrific revelations are made and Astrid must make some really tough decisions.
Astrid is achingly real in this book. She's torn between wanting to be safe and feeling as if she must do her duty as a hunter. She never gives up trying to do the right thing, ever. Astrid is what I consider a true heroine and has officially sealed her position as one of my top favorite characters of all time.
An astounding continuation in the series.