Published by Harmony Ink Press
Published On: April 21, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: Young Adult - some sexual content and violence
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I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I saw a few people I follow on Twitter had reviewed it. It was initially the cover that drew me in, plus the talk about unicorns. I’m telling you all right now that I’m team unicorn and that this book did not disappoint.
I think my favourite part of this book was all the diversity! It wasn’t one of those books where the author tries to shove it all in to cover their bases, it just flowed really nicely with the story. We had two main characters, one from and African-like country and the other seemed to be from and American or English inspired country. Their cultures were completely different and it was fun seeing them learn more about each other. That’s not even all of it though! We also saw one of the characters struggle with sexual abuse and sexuality. Though she didn’t really struggle with her sexuality which was actually kind of refreshing. She just went with it and didn’t care which I loved. It just made the romance feel so much more natural (though I was disappointed there was no male character I got to crush on hehe) and I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The romance in general was very well done for such a short book.
Another thing I loved about this story was our main character Mnemba. She was the strong, independent type character that we’ve been seeing in YA a lot lately, only I thought she was better. My absolute favourite part about her was that she actually learned from her mistakes! There was one scene where she kind of rushed head first into a dangerous situation and instead of going back into that same situation (which happens way too often in YA books) , she actually goes and finds help! Imagine that! She knew she couldn’t do something on her own and she went to get people who could help her, not because she’s a girl and girls are weak, but because she’s smart and knew that if she failed the first time then she needed to do something different.
The only reason why this book didn’t get 5 stars from me was because of the length. I thought so much more could have been done with this book but instead it was rushed just a little bit and ended too soon. I could have used just a little bit more information and some extra time for the relationship between our two main characters to grow.
I’d recommend this to any YA fan that’s always complaining about not seeing enough diversity in books. This is the perfect book for you because it’s full of it. It hits culture differences, mental illness, LGBT romance, mythical creatures, and so much more! Plus it covers all those topics and does it effortlessly.
This is a great book for those readers who are looking for something different. It was great seeing the author combine some of our modern day issues with a fantasy world filled with mythical creatures.