Bad Unicorn

Book Information
Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Platte F. Clark
Publisher: Aladdin
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781442450127
Pages: 432

Princess the Destroyer is a carnivorous unicorn that is determined to find Max Spencer so that she can be given free rein to eat all of the humans in Texas. Max Spencer is a seventh grader who might not be smart or popular, but he is the heir of a powerful sorcerer and so is the only person who can read the Codex of Infinite Knowability. Max accidentally transports himself and his friends to a future where the humans have all been eaten by Princess the Destroyer. After making friends with the frobbits, some of the last friendly survivors on earth, Max and his friends have to defeat Princess and her legions of robots to save their lives and the last of humankind.

While the idea behind the book is fun, many of the ideas are not executed well. The book is clever with its plays on fantasy tropes, but too many plot lines are forgotten in the favor of too many gags. There is enough humor to prompt a few chuckles, but many of the jokes are likely to go over the heads of the book’s target audience. The characters have little depth and are not very interesting, often using stereotypes to create character. The ending is highly dependent on waiting for the next book to explain things. The humor may keep some people entertained, but the overall impact of the book is not as high as it could have been.