Carved from the rugged Chiricahua Mountains, the intimidating spire, Thunder Peak, slashes the sky, haunting the southern reaches of the Arizona Territory and looming over Itza Chu Canyon. Staked in the darkest corner of Thunder Peak’s shadow lies the Tamm Ranch and Orchard, run by Civil War veteran Jonas Tamm.
–from the back cover of Thunder Peak (see Goodreads for full blurb!)
Jonas lives with his adopted daughter Casey, and knows more about the mysterious canyon they live in than anyone. When Casey rescues a hornless, juvenile unicorn from a bloodthirsty wolfpack, Jonas realizes that it’s time to tell her those secrets. Secrets that will cast them in a race against time to get the unicorn home- and array them against an ancient predator. A merciless nightmare of fang and claw who also wants to get home. A destination that lies at the end of but one path: The destruction of Casey and her beloved unicorn.
Hello all, and welcome to my review of Thunder Peak by Trae Stratton! Honestly, I really loved the premise and plot descriptions for this book; I had some high expectations going in, alright? (I saw the word unicorn and I was sold; that’s what I’m trying to say here.)
And now, I can happily say that this book did not disappoint me! But keep reading my review of Thunder Peak to find out more about what I did and didn’t like in this book.
I’m actually going to start with my dislikes and get those out of the way. Most of what I wasn’t a fan of in this book were more technical things about the writing. For one, I thought that Stratton could have been less direct and basic about certain things; for example, he repeatedly tells us readers that Nightblade is awesome at plotting and manipulation, and I didn’t think it was necessary. Stratton shows that, to some degree, and I think that was more than enough.
But, then again, this book is intended for younger audiences, so that might have been a stylistic choice Stratton purposefully made with his target age group in mind.
Anyway, let’s get onto the good stuff, now!
First of all, I loved Casey. She was incredibly relatable; I think the quote “We have a unicorn in our barn and you’re talking to me about chores?” is going to stick with me forever. But she was also just super fun to read about! She had an awesome personality and I really admired her bravery and her spunk.
I also really enjoyed her relationship with her father; Stratton gave them such a great, steady bond. But her father, Jonas, was also just a great character by himself. He had an entire (somewhat dark and melancholy) past that was explored throughout the book; I just found it so interesting to read about. The scenes from his perspective, where he reflects on the things he’s done and experienced, definitely added something extra to the story.
Additionally, I think those scenes make it more accessible to older audiences. Don’t get me wrong; they’re still written in a way that can be understood and enjoyed by the younger end of the YA spectrum. But there’s more complexity and depth to his character that definitely appealed to me, personally.
Finally, the world-building was excellent! I loved all of Stratton’s descriptions of magic and of the other realm that Casey’s mother came from. But I won’t expand too much on that since I’ve already written a lot.
So, all things considered, I do recommend reading this one! If you’re a younger reader, I definitely think you’ll enjoy it, but there’s also plenty to like about Thunder Peak for older audiences, as well. Because with an exciting plot and a cast filled with interesting characters, there’s plenty of like about this book.
If you do choose to read it, feel free to drop a comment down below and let me know your thoughts! I always love to talk about books. You can also come to talk to me over on Bookstagram if you want to. Additionally, if you enjoyed this review of Thunder Peak, use the Book Reviews tab above to access my full library of reviews! There, you can find a lot of other awesome books I have reviews for.
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