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Monday, September 26, 2011

Zombies vs. Unicorns

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Grade: 4 stars out of 5
This is a collection of stories about unicorns or zombies from today’s contemporary young adult writers.
First off, I’m Team Unicorn before I read the book (look to the side to see my avatar). I noticed this book before, but I didn’t really want to pick it up until I received a poster for it. Because I needed to buy some college textbooks/food, I borrowed this copy from the Philadelphia Free Library. (The library has been one of my best friends for the last 5 years. I support it fully!)

Anyway, this anthology is Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black arguing over whether zombies beat unicorns. Black isn’t as militant as Larbaletier, and I pretty much skipped their conversations before every story. They were all the same (Larbalestier: ZOMBIES WIN! Black: Unicorns are cool too!).

Now, since this post would be too long, I have a selected a few stories and shared my feelings on each one:

“The Highest Justice” by Garth Nix—I love Garth Nix’s stories. I think he has an amazing imagination and I would love to live in his worlds. I read Sabriel and Lirael and I hope I get to finish Abhorsen soon because it’s so good. I also read a story he did for another anthology (Teeth: Vampire Tales) so I was pumped that his was the first story and about unicorns too! All of Garth Nix’s stories have a hint of adult themes to them, which I love, and this one was so… realistic (is the best word I can come up with). I really liked the inter-family struggles and the magic and the dealing-of-the-justice and thought “Hey this is off to a good start”. YAY!

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Alaya Dawn Johnson—My favorite zombie story. The beginning was just awesome and gave me a craving for mac n cheese for a week. The middle where everything is explained and Grayson doesn’t eat the girl made me want to eat the book it was so good. I even loved the random hipster bands mentioned. Also, I must add Johnson to my list of authors to read things by. YAY!

“Bougainvillea” by Carrie Ryan—Didn’t even finish it. I tried, I really did. It was 40 pages long, and I was like a quarter of the way through and nothing was happening other than people casually mentioning there were zombies (mudo). I read “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” and it took me a really long time to actually finish the damn thing. I don’t like Ryan’s zombies. YUCK!

“The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn” by Diana Peterfreund—Favorite unicorn story because it had unique unicorns in it! I love the concept of the “evil” unicorn (*ahem* see avatar). I loved the names (Yves, Wen, Aidan, etc.) because I like original naming of characters. I could do without the God-aspect, but the struggle was REAL. “Do I want to spit on my family by taking care of this monster, or do I want to kill this monster in cold blood?” It was so touching, and I want to read more! YAY!

“Inoculata” by Scott Westerfeld—I learned that Larbalestier is married to Westerfeld, so it makes sense that he’d be on her side. I liked the Zombie safe-zone idea, and the endless practices with the dessert points, but the zombies (zees) were weird. I wasn’t aware that there could be a mild form to zombie-ism. It was well-written, but not exactly exciting. MEH!

“Cold Hands” by Cassandra Clare—OMG! So I know Holly Black and Cassie Clare are like BFF’s (I saw them at a Philly Free Library talk), but I was surprised to see Clare go with the zombies. Oh well. Reminds me of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters: acceptance of the dead rather than trying to survive. I liked the romance especially. It was warm, rather than cold. *wink* YAY!

I’m loathe to admit it, but zombies won. I think as soon as I get my paycheck I’m going to go on an Amazon.com shopping spree (Peterfreund, Johnson, etc.) TOTALLY PUMPED!

Also, I realize Yan kinda did a post already, but she didn't talk about the anthology much. :P

Copy: From the Philadelphia Free Library


  1. Reading your review just made me want to read this book again. I loved some of the stories in this one. It was deifnitely unique and awesome. Thanks so much!

  2. Okay, now I'm definitely going to read this book! The cover is far too cutesy to really show what the stories are about, but hey, I'm still going to read it :)

  3. I love zombies, and I really wanted to read this...until I found out it was short stories. I am not a big fan of those, but I am glad to see you enjoyed this. Great review :)