Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns.
Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they’ve been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.
Astrid has always scoffed at her eccentric mother’s stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend – thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom – Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.
However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to – perhaps most dangerously of all – her growing attraction to a handsome art student… an attraction that could jeopardize everything.
I think this book and story line could have a lot of potential as a young adult novel and future fantasy series but I think it ended up being too big and ambitious for one book. It also ended up losing a lot by going for the easy way out in characterization and in trying too hard to cater to a teen audience.
In this story poor Astrid has to switch gears pretty hard to go from a typical teenage girl seriously considering letting a guy sleep with her to get asked to the prom to having him be almost murdered by a renegade unicorn (a being that, until that moment, Astrid had firmly believed was a myth). As a result Astrid, a virgin from a bloodline of unicorn hunters, gets sent abroad to a special cloister for training in becoming a fearsome hunter of these bloodthirsty, semi-intelligent beasts. Unfortunately Astrid does not want to become a unicorn hunter and finds out that the cloisters contain more secrets than answers and that perhaps the world of unicorn hunting is not all that it seems.