I received the book from the author in exchange for honest review. This in no way affects my rating and thoughts of the book.
When I first read the synopsis, I was really intrigued. YA fantasy+unicorns+diverse characters & setting+f/f romance, what could be more exciting?! Sadly, I was disappointed because the execution was weak and wasted so much of its true potential. It was too short, hence the lack of buildup and explanations, but I genuinely think this could have been done a lot better.
1) UNICORNS. I was sold ever since I read the title and found out that this book was indeed about unicorn ♥♥♥
2) The characters’ job. I think I never encountered books in which the characters are trackers before…. pfff wrong, I read The Grisha where Mal was a tracker. But still it was rare, so it was refreshing to see our MC is a tracker. Tracking is a cool job 😛
3) Diverse elements. I looooove the fact that this book is set in a wild part of Nazwimbe, which I assume is supposed to exist around Southern Africa? It reminded me of Madagascar. The characters are also diverse, so points for that.
4) The story honestly has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. This book has so many original elements that we don’t see often in YA. It was intriguing and very original ♥
1) There’s very little world building involved. Aside from knowing where the story takes place, I honestly know nothing. I had no idea if this book is set in the past, the present, the future, or it’s even magical or not. What I gathered from reading the first few chapters was that it took place in some wild areas in Africa and that’s it. I was surprised to find out that there were unicorns and mermaids because I didn’t get that magical sense. I would prefer some info dumps to not knowing anything like this.
2) The stakes aren’t high at all. Honestly, I think the problem was too ‘easy’? And even easier was the solution. It was not intense at all. If it wasn’t for the romance, I would’ve thought I was reading MG rather than YA. And I didn’t understand most of Mnemba and Kara’s decisions. I got that they wanted to save their relatives, but their choices were kind of stupid and most of them were plain luck or simply unbelievable. Also, there’s basically no plot twists.
3) INSTA LOVE </3 You know I’m a notorious shipper, but I did not dig this one. Everything happened so fast and I didn’t believe it at all. From reading the synopsis alone, I thought it was gonna be some slow burn romance with a lot of denials on both party, I was skeptical when I saw (aka read) Mnemba and Kara kissed after only two encounters. I was even more skeptical to see Kara confessed her love after only knowing each other for two weeks. All I need is more time for the romance to actually blossom.
4) That being said, there’s basically no emotion involved. Despite their bravery, the characters have plain personalities. Mnemba has a tragic back story, yet I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel her anger or fear or frustration. Nothing. If I didn’t know what happened to her, I would never guess. Kara was slightly better, but I still didn’t connect to her. The only character I liked was probably Tumelo.
5) The ending was too good to be true. Everything wrapped up perfectly and QUICKLY I can’t even… the characters make some rash decisions and everybody just went with it. I mean, I expected some kinds of fights and sacrifices 😦
ALL IN ALL, I feel like this book has so much potential, but the execution was problematic. There’s basically not enough depth to the story. There was no emotion, no sparks, not enough mystery. I supposed this book will do better with more chapters to build up the tension and romance 🙂
Have you read Unicorn Tracks? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! ♥ and while we’re at it, recommend me some fantastic magical stories! 😀
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