Review Blog

Jan 25 2011

Zombies vs unicorns ed. by Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black

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Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781742375502.
(Age 14+) Short stories. Recommended for lovers of the paranormal and fantasy genres. This collection of 12 short stories written by favourite authors in these genres is highly entertaining. With authors of the calibre of Cassanda Clare, Libba Bray, Carrie Ryan, Margo Lanagan, Scott Westerfeld, Garth Nix, and Naomi Novik and edited by Larbalestier and Black, I expected some thrilling stories and I was not disappointed. I have also gained some new to me authors, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Kathleen Duey and Diana Peterfreund, whose works I now want to sample.
The stories are linked with witty banter by Larbalestier and Black about the respective merits of Team Zombie and Team Unicorn and the humorous debate continues to the final story by Libba Bray, Prom Night. They range from a very scary fairytale-like story of a young princess' love for a unicorn and the havoc that it causes in A thousand flowers by Margo Lanagan to the hilarious Princess Prettypants by Meg Cabot, where the unicorn farts rainbows and unfaithful boys get their come-uppance. One of my favourites was The care and feeding of your baby killer unicorn by Diana Peterfreund, where Wen, a teenager is called to rescue a newly born unicorn and has to learn how to look after it. The cliff-hanger ending is a shocker as is the ending in Love will tear us apart by Alaya Dawn Johnson, which does contain some sexuality and strong language.
All the stories were excellent, some thought-provoking and others scary. Readers will have fun deciding if they vote for Team Unicorn or Team Zombie.
Pat Pledger

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