Before I start this review: yes it is I, Michelle, having returned from the pit of darkness that is a blogging slump for… well at least for this post lmao. I have finished everything on my to do list and now have to wait for a friend to finish her to do list before we can work on our assignment, and I realised I could actually blog? And I wanted to? I was shook (still am). Anyway, let’s finally review this book that I’ve been meaning to review for weeks.
Genre: YA // Fantasy // LGBTQIAP+
Goodreads rating: 3.84
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐
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.
DISCLAIMER: I was given a copy of the book by the author. This doesn’t affect my review
(honestly when the author reached out she had me at YA fantasy with a lesbian romance)
THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE. Though I do feel that the relationship was a bit insta-lovey, it was adorable and I loved these two girls kicking ass together and falling in love while doing it. They’re both such cool ladies. I loved how while Mnemba often runs into dangerous creatures, she still has her moments where’s she’s scared, making her very human. Though I did like Kara, she did feel a little underdeveloped.
I also loved the worldbuilding of this book. It took place in a fictional country ( inspired from southern African countries), so going in you don’t know anything about the country, its culture, customs etc. Going out? I could’ve written an essay on it, it was so well done (and no info dumps!). And the way all the mythical creatures are described? You’d think the author had seen them for herself. Though I do wish it had been a little bit clearer when the story took place. It definitely distracted me since a lot of the times I was trying to figure that out. But still, amazing world building (and in such a short book?? Some authors can definitely learn from Julia Ember).
OH AND UNICORNS! The book is about UNICORNS. Do you know how excited that made me? I mean, unicorns are well known creatures, but I feel like they’re actually hardly ever in any fantasy books? Same with fantasy tv shows and movies. For such well known creatures they’re actually quite underrated (of course I might have just been reading and watching the wrong stuff).
I did feel like the conflict didn’t take up enough pages, and that it felt resolved a bit too easily. All in all I’d definitely recommend this book!
Mnemba is raped before the story starts
Kara is almost raped during the story
Have you read Unicorn Tracks yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!