Zombies Vs Unicorns compiled by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black – Review

I’ve had a lot of heavy on my blog lately, so have decided it’s time to lighten up with some teen fiction! When I took Zombies Vs Unicorns out from the library, I really wasn’t expecting much. This is an extremely good failsafe to have since you are never really disappointed, and often pleasantly surprised. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised to the EPIC nature of the book in question. Now, allow me to explain.

I’m a zombie person. I love zombies. I love books, movies, TV, graphic novels, action figures and video games that feature zombies. OK, so now you know why I picked up the book. It had the word zombie on it. Alright, it only had a picture of one on the cover. Yes, when it comes to things zombie I’m willing to be that shallow. The unicorn part though, well, that made me twitch a little. I’m not really a unicorn person. I may have played with the odd plastic pony with tiny horn in my childhood, but the love affair with them did not catch on. I’m also a short story person, I really love reading short pieces by lots of authors (see, I was meant to read blogs) because it then helps me add to a tremendous tome I call my too read/watch list. This is a big list, but I don’t know that I really want to whittle it down too much, because then I would be filled with a sense of accomplishment. I’m way too used to trudging along with a carrot of accomplishment held before me. Should I remove it I will become lazier, and then people might mistake me for a zombie and well, you can imagine how that would go. (It wouldn’t be pretty.) I think I’m getting off point though…

Anyway! Zombies Vs Unicorns was apparently started when Justine Larbalestier  and Holly Black got into a debate about which was better on their respective blogs and Team Zombie and Team Unicorn were born. For Team Zombie they had the fantastic talents of Libba Bray (also known for the NY Times bestselling Gemma Doyle Trilogy), Cassandra Clare (another NY Times and others bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments series), Alaya Dawn Johnson (author of Spirit Binders trilogy) , Maureen Johnson (author of many books – I’m also currently reading her book In the Name of the Star which so far seems like a modern Jack the Ripper story), Carrie Ryan (author if the wickedly named Forrests of Hands and Teeth, among others) and Scott Westerfeld (hubby to Justine but also well known for his Uglies, Leviathan and Midnighters series). For Team Unicorn there was Meg Cabot (she’s also a prolific New York Times bestseller who also has both books for kids and adults), Kathleen Duey (award winning author of A Resurrection of Magic series who also had a killer Unicorn story…meaning awesome…or does it?), Margo Lanagan (Another award winner and creepy/pretty story), Garth Nix (another prolific New York Times bestseller and award winner…Ok..you’re probably seeing a trend here, eh?), Naomi Novik (another New York Times bestseller for her Temeraire series) and Diana Peterfreund (who I think may have had my favorite story of the bunch and wrote the Ivy League series and two others about killer unicorns). These are some amazing names in teen fiction and fantasy. Now, I know what you may be thinking. As adults, we should be past reading teen fiction and be concentrating on the classics. Uh, sure that’s true… But also, not so! There is some tremendous talent, great imagination and amazing writing in the teen fiction zone. Remember, the Hunger Games and the Boy in the Striped Pajamas are all written for this age group, but their stories are definitely adult friendly, as long as you’re not looking for a lot of getting friendly adults (*chough* Fifty shades *chough*).

The other thing that surprised me? In the end, when I’d finished the book, I found I might actually be a smidge into the team unicorn. This has become a confusing time for me. I was so sure I was team zombie, I had the t-shirt on order, been to the shooting range a few times, and could shamble like nobody’s business…and now, due to phenomenal stories involving wicked and sometimes wily unicorns, I’ve become unsure. I like them too. So, in the face of this indecision, I’ve decided instead to be a cheerleader for both sides. If you are looking for some short stories that surpass the title of the book, try this one out for size, and let me know which team wins for you.

***Zombie picture public service announcement: In case you haven’t clicked on any of the pictures on this blog before, all will link back to where I found the picture on the net in every post, should you get a hankering to click on them. In this case the first one above is for an article that advertises an actual zombie hunting experience in BC (for a limited time only). The second is actually a government sponsored picture from the Province of British Columbia (in Canada). These were cool things to find for a zombie lover such as myself, so I wanted to take extra care in pointing them out in case you were intersted in this type of thing.**