Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Zombies Vs. Unicorns

It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively) strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories ortray the strengths - for good and evil - of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?
-
This book was fantastic. I went into it thoroughly on the side of Team Zombie and even though I'm still on Team Zombie there were a few times when I started to sway towards Team Unicorn.
-
Overall, my favourite stories were:
-
1. Inoculata by Scott Westerfeld. At first I thought it was about teenagers trying to survive your typical zombie apocalypse (well it can never be typical when you've got Scott Westerfeld writing it)but then there was a twist that made it exciting and fresh.
-
2. Bougainvillea by Carrie Ryan was awesome. Maybe I'm biased because I'm already a huge fan of her zombie series but this story was just as creepy and eerie and left me wanting more. The ending was a huge surprise and brings a new meaning to taking after your parents.
-
3. The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Unicorn By Diana Peterfreund was a great side story to her unicorn series. I actually read Rampant before reading Zombies vs. Unicorns so as to have a more neutral outlook as I had never read anything with unicorns.
-
4. Princess Prettypants By Meg Cabot was hilarious and by far the funniest story of the lot. It's about a 17-year-old girl receiving a rainbow-farting unicorn for her birthday. I actually laughed out loud whilst reading this.
-
I definitely think the strongest team was zombies. I enjoyed all of these stories a lot and didn't feel like there was a weak one of the lot. Whilst I didn't distinctly dislike any of the unicorn stories, a few of them I could have just skipped. Saying that all the stories brought something to the table. Everyone of them was different.
-
The only (slight) problem I had was with Alaya Dawn Johnson's story. It was a brilliant and original story, but even so there was a lot of swearing. Now I'm not averse to swearing in stories, and I even think it can sometimes add to the story to help portray the characteristics and emotions of characters, but here I felt there was too much, and even I felt a bit uneasy whilst reading it.
-
What made this anthology especially fun though was Holly and Justine's banter at the start of each story, where they debated on which side was best. I would have loved to have seen a story with both unicorns and zombies in written by both Holly and Justine. Overall, there is a lot of diversity in this anthology, both teams evoke the sides of good and evil. Crammed with horror, romance, comedy, action and mythology it has something for everyone.
-
(Also, on a side note, how cool is that cover!!)

-
Random quote: Holly: Seriously. you don't like unicorns? What kind of person doesn't like unicorns?
Justine: What kind of person doesn't like zombies? What have zombies ever done to you?
Holly: Zombies shamble. I disapprove of shambling. And they have bits that fall off. You never see a unicorn behaving that way.
Justine: I shamble. Bits fall of me all the time: hair, skin cells. Are you saying you disapprove of me?

1 comment:

Clover said...

This one sounds MARVELLOUS. Can't wait to pick up a copy..