Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier. Zombies are in right now. Really in, and I personally really don’t like them. That’s why I’m so glad that this anthology of short stories has come out, so that everyone can see once and for all why unicorns are so much cooler than zombies. That would be my way of looking at it, anyway. The book is geared towards a teen audience and has twelve stories, six each zombie and unicorn, each team headed by a separate editor. Here are the authors that I’ve heard of: Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Maureen Johnson, Diana Peterfreund, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot and Libba Bray. These are very good authors, though I admit that the only zombie story I made it all the way through was Alaya Dawn Johnson’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, and that only because the opening comments described it as funny. Every story is preceded by an argument between the two editors on the background of the story, tidbits about zombies or unicorns (depending) and the relative merits of zombies and unicorns. Even when I didn’t read the story, the notes were priceless. A thoughtful feature of this book is that every story is marked with a zombie or unicorn icon so if you are a diehard member of one team or another, as it turns out I am, you can avoid the stories from the other side. Some of the stories are dark, like Kathleen Duey’s “The Third Virgin”. Some, like Naomi Novik’s “Purity Test” (what if the girl the unicorn picks isn’t really a virgin?) and Meg Cabot’s “Princess Prettypants”, where the unicorn literally farts rainbows, are hilarious. I hear the zombie stories were pretty good, too.
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