Pacey Packer: Unicorn Tracker

Random. Aug. 2020. 240p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781984850546.
Gr 2-5–In her daydreams, Pacey Packer is a brave and powerful knight, wielding the Sword of Destiny against evil monsters. In reality, she is stuck babysitting her whiny sister, Mina. But when Mina is spirited away across a rainbow bridge on the back of a unicorn, Pacey’s protective instinct kicks in. She grabs onto Mina’s beloved (and apparently sentient) stuffed unicorn, Slasher, but when Slasher loses his grip, Mina appears to be lost. Pacey is lost in the magical land of Rundalyn accompanied only by Slasher, who is in fact a Rundalyn native. Can Pacey find Mina and get her home without being devoured by carnivorous plants, impaled on poisonous thorns, or turned to stone? Is Pacey the hero she thinks she is? Can she trust Slasher? There’s more here than meets the eye— the humorous art style and snarky dialogue belie a surprising amount of character development and intrigue. Phillips combines the premise and reverse-fairyland setting of Suzanne Collins’s Gregor the Overlander with the sarcasm and simplified cartoon style of Family Guy (Slasher is a dead ringer for Brian the dog) for an appealing series starter. Both Pacey and Mina are light-skinned with dark hair.
VERDICT Action and imaginative peril propel this girl-powered story of bad unicorns in a magic land. Readers will look forward to more smart-mouth heroics from Pacey and Slasher.

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