THE HUNT OF THE UNICORN by C.C. Humphreys

THE HUNT OF THE UNICORN

Age Range: 12 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unicorns and adolescent girls, generally considered a perfect pairing, are here filtered through what seems to be an adolescent male concept of what teen girls might like (unicorns, handsome boys, plus some gory bits). Pages of awkward exposition, via the hackneyed device of an ancestor’s journal, launch a lackluster story. Once upon a time, Elayne’s ancestor journeyed to and escaped from Goloth, Land of the Fabulous Beast; now, the modern NYC teen, whose cancer-ridden father has just had another setback, has been called by a unicorn in need to fulfill said ancestor’s promise. Once in Goloth, Elayne spends her time imprisoned and/or responding inanely to hair-raising exploits (rescued from a dungeon, lifted wet and half-frozen to a boat, she worries about the fishy smell of the cloth she dries herself with). She also comes across as a bit dim: Despite the frequent mentions of unicorn horn as a cure for illness, she takes several hundred pages to realize it could save her father. Indeed, there is a disturbing thread of misogyny throughout; Elayne, Princess Amaryllis (whiny and overly fond of chocolate) and even female unicorn Heartsease all spend most of their time imprisoned and answering to the men (there are no other women), and while Elayne eventually foments revolution and overturns the evil ruler, she’s mostly figurehead and aid to heroic unicorn Moonspill. Don’t bother. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 12-14)
Pub Date: March 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-85872-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2011