unicornhunting

I was very excited when I first saw the blurb for this book – lesbian unicorn hunting, grey morality choices, fantasy realm! From the start, you know the author is full of ideas and has this really complex fantasy world in mind. Unfortunately, I found that the ideas were great, but the book really suffered from poor execution. This review will have some spoilers, so be warned.

Cal and her two best friends have chosen to become unicorn hunters, a task reserved for virginal young women, rather than getting married or going to a nunnery. Cal’s mother is an ex-unicorn hunter, so the hunting seems to be a job you can pick up as a young adult and put down when you’re ready for the rest of your life. After about a half-day of training, all two-hundred of the first-year hunters are sent out in pairs into the forest to hunt down unicorns, and most of the pairs are successful. It never really made sense to me why they’d need a dedicated training school if unicorn hunting was so easy that two untrained girls can take down multiple unicorns on their first day. There’s a great deal of mystery around the reasons for hunting at the beginning – and most of the unicorn hunters have no idea why they’re doing it, although Cal soon finds out.

There are monsters, intrigue, and betrayal, but I was never able to get past my initial problems with the world building. There are so many interesting ideas – the reproduction of unicorns, for example – but the world is full of holes. And now we get into the spoilers proper.

If hunting unicorns is so vital to the world, and there are so many unicorn hunters around, why did no one ever notice that unicorns clone themselves (much like flatworms) nigh-instantly? If the world depends on unicorn blood to provide healing, why haven’t they just started farming unicorns? I understand that unicorns are magic and probably couldn’t be domesticated, but the first thing that came to mind when I saw how the unicorns reproduced – and that the hunters are paid per unicorn killed – was how you could easily set up a system to provide yourself with almost infinite unicorns.

I also wasn’t terribly fond of Cal, unfortunately. She went from awed by the beauty of unicorns to SlaughterCal-9000 over the course of a day, and these extreme changes in views weren’t well explained. I appreciated the way that the narration showed that she was attracted to women in general, not just her first crush, but I was never really able to relate to her.

Overall, I think Unicorn Hunting definitely feels like a first novel – it has some great ideas, but would benefit from a lot of polishing. I think, for me, if the author sat down with her world-building and took her ideas to their logical conclusion, they’ll really have an interesting story on their hands.

morningrising

This is the story of Kara and Dylan or as they are known to some people; the Guardian and Morning. This story started with a very contemporary feel and then quickly introduced some fantasy elements, which were not what I was expecting but in a good way! This story left me with a thirst for fantasy.

In short, the story is about Dylan and Kara who were in our human world but they are not from here. They are from InBetween and were only in the human world for their protection. This story, despite being very short manages to be very original and serves as a good introduction to the following two books. The world building is original and practical  as there are elements of fantasy and of our lives mixed together. There is magic but this world is also practical and adaptable. They take inventions from other worlds and are not afraid to use them. In some ways, very much like our own world. As you read along you can imagine the world and experience it as Kara relearns.

We see as Kara and Dylan’s roles are reversed and this applies also for the other two books. First, it was Dylan that needed to be strong for Kara and then the other way round, though by no means does that undermine Dylan’s strength. We also see how Kara gave in to Dylan in the Human World but then in Inbetween, Dylan needed Kara so listened to her.

Along the way there are some nice touches to make us dive deeper into their world. For example, an allergy mentioned in the beginning of the book is later on explained as a common trait.

The style is nicely written in general but sometimes it’s especially awesome and funny. For example:

“Some theme parks could take a few hints from this place”
Samantha Boyette, Morning Rising

There are great moments in the book, because they feel very real. We learn to empathize with the characters and their feelings. We feel frustrated with the situation as Kara is frustrated.

I would recommend this book for fantasy/urban, action, young adult and series lovers. This book is part of the Guardian of Morning trilogy (Morning Rising, Darkness of Morning, When Morning Dawns). The plot although written in a few pages, has a lot of twists and will probably surprise you.

circle

Currently reading: The Circle (Engelsfors Trilogy Book One) by Sara B. Elfgren & Mats Strandberg

And how is it? I think I like it so far? Only a couple chapters in and I am completely out of it, so who knows, really.

Pages read this hour: Hour 23: 50 pages, hour 24: 75 pages… somehow?? because this was the slowest hour to pass in the world??

Pages read in total: 1290!

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel HawkinsTwixt by Sarah Diemer, Tris’s Book by Tamora Pierce

Food eaten: None

Interruptions: None

Anything Else? Well that was fun now sleep please

Currently reading: Daja’s Book (Circle of Magic #2) by Tamora Pierce

And how is it? Still great. I should be able to finish it next hour.

Pages read this hour: Hour 21: 50 pages, hour 22: 60 pages

Pages read in total: 1165!

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel HawkinsTwixt by Sarah Diemer

Food eaten: None

Interruptions: None

Anything Else? So very tired. Second to last update, though! Just two hours to go! I went outside for a little bit. The fresh air helped… temporarily.

Currently reading: Daja’s Book (Circle of Magic #2) by Tamora Pierce

And how is it? I love Tamora Pierce books. I’m really glad I saved this for now, because I’m starting to get sleepy and I think only this could be keeping my interest.

Pages read this hour: Hour 19: 35 pages, hour 20: 60 pages

Pages read in total: 1055! I broke the thousand mark!

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel HawkinsTwixt by Sarah Diemer

Food eaten: Had some pop to try to wake me up. Worked for about 10 minutes.

Interruptions: My nap wasn’t very successful: I take about an hour to fall asleep at least, so a 20 minute nap wasn’t realistic, but I think resting my eyes helped! Again, temporarily.

TwixtbySarahDiemer

Currently reading: Twixt by Sarah Diemer

And how is it? I’m just 10 pages from the end! I do like it. It’s definitely an interesting story. We’ll see how the very final scene plays out!

Pages read this hour: Hour 17: 20 pages, Hour 18: 55 pages

Pages read in total: 960

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Food eaten: Nothing, I think.

Interruptions: Just making tea and changing reading locations (bedroom to living room and back again).

Anything else? I cheered for most of Hour 17, and now I think I’m going to take a quick 20 minute nap, since this is usually my bedtime and I’m fading. (I’ll even set an alarm! Don’t worry, I’ll still make it to hour 24!)

TwixtbySarahDiemer

Currently reading: Twixt by Sarah Diemer

And how is it? I’m liking it so far! I’m about halfway through it, and it’s definitely odd. I think the ending will really determine how much I like it as a whole, but I’m really interested to see how it wraps up.

Pages read this hour: Hour 15: 35 pages, Hour 16: 45 pages. But I think the page count is a little weird, because I have to flip through about three pages at my preferred font size before it counts a page read. Makes up for the huge font of Demonglass, though!

Pages read in total: 885

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Food eaten: More tea, because my eyelids are starting to droop.

Interruptions: Just making tea and changing reading locations (bedroom to living room and back again).

Anything else? I’m going to cheer for a little while, hopefully that will wake me up. If not, I might just take a nap after all!

Currently reading: Just inbetween books!

And how is it? So I finished Demonglass and immediately needed to look up spoilers to see whether I was going to continue with the series or rage endlessly. You can guess what the factor was. (Spoiler: I will be continuing with the series and not lighting the book on fire. I’m kidding, I would never. Also it’s a library book.)

Pages read this hour: Hour 13: 80 pages, Hour 14: 100 pages

Pages read in total: 805

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi, Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Food eaten: More chips and grapes.

Interruptions: Not a lot other than actually reaching a point 10 pages from the end where I could not read any further because if the THING happened I was going to be SO MAD.

Anything else? I think I’ll pick up Twixt next!

demonglass

Currently reading: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

And how is it? I am LOVING it. Well, more specifically, I’m loving the lesbian vampire secondary character and her BFF relationship with the main character. How often does that happen? I mean, the ~~sassy gay guy~~ stereotype friend happens, but a straight female protagonist who is super close friends with a lesbian? And they both swoon sympathetically over each other’s love interests and gossip together? IT’S ADORABLE. Especially because I was expecting this to be one of my hetero reads for the day, and it’s warming my queer heart to a surprising extent. As long as she doesn’t end up dead (for good), points to you, Rachel Hawkins.

Pages read this hour: Hour 11: 85 pages, Hour 12: 95 pages (this book also has big font and big margins, which is a plus for page count)

Pages read in total: 625

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Food eaten: So many snacks. Including grapes and a float and chocolate-covered potato chips. I love the #snackathon,

Interruptions: Not much!

Anything else? I think I might review Demonglass for the Lesbrary–or at least the lesbian elements of it.

Currently reading:  Nothing, technically! I just finished White Is For Witching before the hour ended!

And how is it? I liked it, but I think it was a little unfair to read another ~haunted house story so soon after House of Leaves. I liked most the of individual elements, but they just didn’t add up to a big pay off for me.

Pages read this hour: Hour 9: 50 pages, Hour 10: 30 pages

Pages read in total: 445

Books finished: Practical Magic by Alice HoffmanWhite Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Food eaten: Nothing much, just a chocolate-covered almond, but I’ve been gnawing at my nails, so I better go get myself a snack.

Interruptions: I cheered for another half hour at hour 10!

Anything else? I’ve already finished the snack I was most looking forward to, but now I get to start the book I’ve been anticipating! Demonglass! Should be a fun, quick read.

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