Book Review: Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

UnicornTracksUnicorn Tracks by Julia Ember

Published by Harmony Ink Press on April 21, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, LGBT

Pages: 180 Format: eBook Source: Author

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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 received an eBook of this title from the author. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.


Who wouldn’t want to go on a safari tracking beasts out of myth and legend? Well in Julia Ember’s Unicorn Tracks you may just get that chance. Join Mnemba on a journey through the Savannah as she comes to terms with her past. Discover passionate researchers, hilarious cousins, horrible poachers and so much more. Grab yourself a guide and jump right into these pages!

Mnemba truly shines in this book as the reader slowly discovers her skill as a tracker, the moments that haunt her day and night, and her earnest curiosity once Kara arrives. She’s not perfect though, making plenty of mistakes and taking foolish risks. And then there’s Kara who wants to experience all the world has to offer before it’s too late. Persistent, passionate, and so open. Their development was done so well.

In terms of storytelling Ember does a great job of setting the stage, putting pieces in motion, and then bringing them to a satisfying conclusion. The idea of a safari of mystical beasts was brilliant and the focus on unicorns was so fun. They really would be fascinating to study. I also appreciated the inclusion of more real life issues like sexual assault and arranged marriage as well as the handling of tribal customs and politics.

Honestly my biggest complaint about this book was that it just wasn’t long enough. At only 180 pages, it’s a very short novel, and I definitely think the author could have expanded on the subject matter. Plus the side characters definitely needed some work. I also wanted to explore more on the safaris and really experience all of the mystical beasts in depth. I feel like there was just some cool stuff that could have been.

Overall though, Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember was a wonderfully unique book with a compelling narrative behind it. Mnemba’s world is a wild, magical place but still rooted in reality and the characters are easy to relate to. While short, the author manages to squeeze in important, emotional topics that were handled extremely well. I think plenty of people will enjoy this one, especially those who love mythical beasts.

So have you read Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember? How cool would a safari of fantastical beasts be? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

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