Publisher : Harmony Ink Press
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 180
Synopsis : After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge. (From Goodreads)
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*
First of all, I have been eyeing this book for a few weeks before I got it, just LOOK AT THAT COVER, it is so gorgeous and I wish I had the physical copy so I can craddle and love it forever. Then I got it and I couldn’t be happier because there are girls in love, unicorns and adventure, doesn’t it sound like something any of us fantasy lovers would enjoy? Yes? Then you’re definitely not wrong, this was an enjoyable and quick read but I was ultimately disappointed.
The writing in this book is good. Really good. The author has a way of telling her story that threads through your mind and keeps you flipping the pages. At some points, it was just straight up beautiful, it took me by surprise. Just read this and judge for yourself:
“A shrill melody floated on the air, rising higher like the climax of a song. Bending thr muscular crest of his neck, the stallion touched his muzzle to his knees. And I could have sworn he was taking a bow.”
The setting of the book was probably my favorite thing about it. It is set in Nazwimbe which is a fictional land inspired from southern African countries, everything from the actual place, to the culture and the beliefs were heavily empreinted with that. While we’re on it, the world building is well done, especially for a book this short. Everything was so detailed and well thought out that I never felt confused or disoriented by any of it, it just made sense and flowed very nicely. One thing that nagged at me though is that I didn’t know WHEN it was set, today? yesterday? 300 years ago? 50 years in the future? I DON’T KNOW.
The major fictitious elements are the creatures. They are a mix between real -elephants, lions…- and mystical -unicorns, mermaids…- and a slight problem I had is that when some of the latter were introduced is was kind of infodumpey and didn’t flow as well as the rest of the story. The unicorns take front stage in the plot and how I adored them! They were so majestically described and were made out to be very intelligent and strong, and I just really really enjoyed reading about them. They truely fascinated me.
As I said before, the unicorns are at the center of it all because our protagonist and her love love interest set on a mission to rescue them from poachers who are exploiting and harming them -which was a neat and subtle way to raise awareness to animal cruelty I might add. At first, the mystery was kept alive and a real pageturner for me but as the story progressed and the plot unfolded it started becoming more predictable, the girls just got away too easily with things they’ve done and from situations they were trapped in. There was no real stress for me or fear for them not getting out of it whole because I just knew they would. Just. Like. Every. Other. Time. And that kind of bummed me a lot because the premise was so interesting and some impredictable twists and turns would’ve made it better.
The story is told in first person from our MC, Mnemba‘s POV and I have a love/hate relationship with her. She made really rash and nonsensical decisions that ALWAYS put her and Kara in danger, she didn’t think things through and defied authority when it was for her own good, on the other hand there was just something preventing me from disliking her, I simply COULDN’T. I really liked the mix of strength and vulnerability she was made off. Kara, I don’t think much off to be honest, she was there, pushing Mnemba into taking the rash decisions, but still she had a bold personality and that’s not something to dislike. Their romance though was quite cute, BUT also insta-lovey which annoyed me knowing how I can’t deal with rushed romance.
Special notice to Bi Trembla, the sassy maternal figure that never failed to kick their asses everytime they did somthing irrational -which is ALL THE TIME- but she is also loving and endearing. Last but not least, Tumelo, Mnemba’s cousin and also my favorite, he was such a drama queen that it made for some really funny moments that I very much appreciated, he’s very heavy on theatrics, but really he’s a very caring young men.
Overall, even though the book didn’t live up to my expectations, I liked it for its premise, its setting and most of all for its diversity. It felt rich! And lest not forget about the Unicorns. I have never read a book about them and now I want more, they’re so amazing !
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Unicorn Tracks? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.