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Kids Fiction 5350
Not Your Average Unicorn
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
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My occasional urges to indulge my latent Brony-ness and watch “My Little Pony” have given me a solid knowledge that unicorns are sweet creatures intent on spreading the magic of friendship. Thanks to Platte F. Clark’s “Bad Unicorn,” I may have to rethink my vision of these horned beasts.

“Bad Unicorn” follows two very different characters: Princess, the bad unicorn who inspired the title, and Max, a portly middle schooler who has become the unfortunate obstacle that stands in the way of Princess’s world domination. More like worlds domination, actually, as Princess has the ability to travel between three distinct realms. There’s the Magrus, the world of magic; the Techrus, our world in which machines compensate for the lack of magic; and the Shadrus, a dark underworld where powers that you don’t want to mess with reside. Princess would like nothing more than for inhabitants of all three realms to bow at her hooves, and she is not about to let Max - who has some unknown magical lineage - get in the way.

What I liked about Clark’s story was that he’s created a pretty complicated plot without making it feel complicated. There are fantastical realms, sci-fi dystopias, accidental time travel, multiple nefarious wizards, and more mysterious and ominous characters than you’d expect could be after one chubby middle school kid. While the cast of characters and the setting is constantly changing, Clark makes sure you’re in on the changes and makes the action, who’s in the action, and where that action is taking place crystal clear.

That clarity is wonderfully complimented by a great sense of humor. Clark’s humor is dry and sarcastic, and that’s just the kind of humor I love. He pokes fun at a lot of works in the fantasy genre (for example, there’s a race of short, round and furry people called frobbits), but all in a loving way that gives a nod to these fantasy greats. The laughs never stop, and keep you literally LOL-ing until the very end. This lighthearted humor helped soften the blow as my mind continues to reel over the true bloodthirsty nature of unicorns.
Good Points
Blends sci-fi, fantasy, and time travel all in one book.
Complicated plot delivered in a crystal clear way.
Benefits society by divulging the true nature of unicorns.
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