Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark might have replaced The Snow Child as my favorite read of 2013. Not that it's really fair to compare the two, as they have nothing in common, but Bad Unicorn is the new book that I will not shut up about. When I say "won't shut up" I really mean that when ever I see someone even glance at its cover a maniacal gleam enters my eye and I babble on about it's wondrousness until they purchase it.
I'll be honest, it's really not all that easy to describe this book and Mr. Clark has been not-so-helpful in this area either. But I'm a brave girl and I'm going to try. I think gifs will help, too. So here we go:
First off, imagine a mashup of all your favorite fantasy fandoms:
Max Spencer is your average, geeky, tabletop game loving, outcast Middle Schooler. He and his best friend get involved in an altercation between the school bully and the resident, brainy smart girl (who just happens to be a martial arts expert) that results in them all being sent home for the afternoon. Max, his buddy, and their new brainy gal-pal decide to head to the boys' favorite place: the local game store. An ensuing interaction with the curmudgeonly shop owner reveals that Max's prized book is the most powerful object in the all the worlds: The Codex of Infinite Knowability. The fact that only Max can read it is a pretty big deal since that is a sure sign that he is a direct descendant of the World Sunderer himself, the greatest wizard that ever lived. As the information comes to light, Max panics, the magic unconsciously travels through him and he, his friends, and the shop owner (who, fyi, is actually a dwarf from the middle realm) are transported to the distant future where the machines have taken over and the only remaining living creatures are a band of spineless frobbits.
By the way, this is how I imagine frobbits to be:
Now, you're probably wondering why the title speaks of a unicorn when I have clearly not. Well let me tell you about Princess. This is what you are imagining Princess to be like:
You should really wipe that image from your head. This is Princess the Destroyer we're talking about here. She's powerful. She's spoiled. She's bored. She's mean and rather nasty. And did I mention she's developed a craving for human flesh? Yeah, "bad" might be a bit of an understatement. She's also been recruited by a powerful wizard in the middle realm to travel to our human realm to track down the last remaining descendant of the World Sunderer and the Codex. And she doesn't let a little thing like a few millennia of waiting distract her from that task either.
So yeah, really hard book to describe. Really easy book to love. If you have any affection for fantasy whatsoever you absolutely must read this book. And Platte, if you're reading this, I cannot wait for the followup.