Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mini-Review: Zombies Vs. Unicorns

edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
Start Date: 19 August 2011
End Date: 10 September 2011
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry [an imprint of Simon & Schuster]

Contributing Authors: Alaya Dawn Johnson, Maureen Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Kathleen Duey, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare

Summary(from Goodreads):
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 portray 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?

My Review:
Although I ultimately enjoyed Zombies vs. Unicorns, it was not at all what I was expecting. When I bought the book , I thought I was getting a fun, light, and humorous book full of arguments on whether zombies or unicorns were awesomer. This did occur, not in the stories themselves, but in the conversations between Holly and Justine that introduced each story. The stories themselves were far less light and fun, and several of them were downright disturbing. After the first two stories, I put down the book for about a week, and when I picked it back up, now knowing what I was in for, I enjoyed it a lot more.

As I don't particularly want to write a review of each of the twelve stories individually, I'd like to mention a few standouts: Children of the Revolution, by Maureen Johnson; The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn, by Diana Peterfreund; Inoculata by Scott Westerfeld; and Princess Prettypants, by Meg Cabot.

Overall Thoughts: I'd be cautious in recommending this book. I would certainly not recommend it to anyone under 15. I liked it in the end, but it it seriously creepy and contains references to a lot of things I'd keep away from younger readers. As short-story anthologies go, there are several I'd recommend far more readily than this one.

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