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Zombies Vs. Unicorns (Killer Unicorns)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  8,915 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews
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 ba...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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Best Book Covers for 2010
45th out of 353 books — 3,139 voters
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Community Reviews

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Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Cats vs. Dogs. Coke vs. Pepsi.

Zombies vs….Unicorns? Who knew? Apparently this is the divisive question of our time. And now, thanks to this anthology of stories, there’s a handy rubric for determining just how you should answer.

I listened to the audiobook, which was excellent. Phil Gigante, who some of you may be more familiar with as the voice of Jericho Z. Barrons, delivers many an eargasm as master of ceremonies. Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier provide their o...more
Zombies Vs. Unicorns and who is the winner?

Zombies! Thanks to Carrie Ryan's Bougainvillea. Undoubtedly the creepiest, most spine-tingly zombie story I have read since... well, since Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Haters of that book shouldn't be dissuaded though. This story is lacking the angst and lurve triangles found in Forrest. Instead, we get complex, unique, sympathetic and believable characters in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. And of course a healthy dose of the zombie horror t...more
Kat Kennedy


How could this possibly go wrong?

I mean, they're just so awesome!

I'll review what I've read so far and update as I go.

The Highest Justice by Garth Nix.

Nix! You're one of my favourite authors! This story was kind of awesome in that I felt like this should have been the beginning to one of your amazing big adventure series. Instead, just as it got started and became exciting, it ended! It was too big an idea squeezed into too small a story that you just couldn't do it the jus...more
Probably the worst anthology I've ever read. The stories themselves weren't that bad, although some of them were pretty... out there. Not many of them made sense or kept to the overall theme of the actual collection. And I don't mean that I expected the stories to be about zombies and unicorns having it out, but I expected the stories to at least center around zombies and/or unicorns. But the majority of the stories only mentioned unicorns or zombies briefly. The zombie stories were the worst of...more
Dec 13, 2010 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annalisa by: YA book club
I'm a sucker for amusing zombie stories. No really, I am. And I grew up on The Last Unicorn, bad singing and all. So when I heard of the concept of this book, what makes better fiction, zombies or unicorns? I had to smile. What a fun idea for a short story anthology.

I cracked the cover thinking "zombies for the win, all the way." I never laugh when I read, crack a smile at most, but not laugh. The introduction alone, a debate between editors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier about the benefit...more
so, i'm not really a huge fan of short story collections, as i'm not really a fan of short stories. however, a lot of my favorite YA authors have chosen this year to be part of anthologies (Diana Peterfreund, Claudia Gray, i'm looking at you!), i have found myself reading more of them.

which makes them a little hard to review - having so many different stories and authors.

however, i think this is the best collection i've read in a long time. first of all, you have zombies, which usually means t...more
There are so many great rivalries in history. Ahab vs. the Whale, Edison vs. Tesla, Hamilton vs. Burr, Coke vs. Pepsi, boxers vs. briefs... Wolfe vs. Mailer... Goodreads vs. Everyone (view spoiler).

Of course, there would be Zombies vs. Unicorns.

Rightfully so. Back in my pre pubescent(and I will say it, 'chaste') days, unicorn...more
I'm not a big anthology reader, because there are usually as many stories I don't like as ones I do, and it's easy to put them down between stories. As far as I can recall, I liked every single story in Zombies vs. Unicorns, and I couldn't put it down even between stories. Chances are, if you're a YA SFF reader, there are at least a few authors in here you love; there was only one name I didn't recognize.

Special mentions to Naomi Novik's awesome New York-set unicorn story; Diana Peterfreund's co...more
Wonderful anthology of unicorns and zombies!

1. Loved Holly and Justine's intro to each story. Justine is hilarious.
2. Surprisingly, a lot of mature content. FYI.
3. Loved how most of the stories were really dark.
4. I really like unicorns now :D
5. Fav. stories: Carrie Ryan, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot. And awesomesauce goes to Diana Peterfreund, and Libba Bray of course.

I DON'T KNOW WHO TO CHOOSE >__< Video review soon!
This book is a short story battle. Like a dance battle but with WORDS. So basically AWESOME. On one side, led by Holly Black, is Team Unicorn, featuring the skills of Meg Cabot, Margo Lanagan and Garth Nix to name a few.

On the other side, led by Justine Larbalestier, is Team Zombie, with the talents of Libba Bray, Carrie Ryan and Maureen Johnson, amongst others.

The book alternates between zombie stories and unicorn stories, each trying to answer the question: which creature makes for a better...more
Anthologies are so difficult to review because they're a mixed bag, ya know? So even though this anthology had a handful of brilliant stories I'd have to say it was all sullied by a short story that contained bestiality. Oh, yeah, and all the zombie romances--between zombies and humans (What the what?!). Ew. And so, so wrong. So wrong.

If I have time I'll review each short story separately.
Why it has taken this long for such a book to be conceived and written is beyond me. I know I've spent...more
Note: As part of Zombies vs Unicorns month, I will be updating this with the new stories that I review. They will be reviewed in "bunches" (2+ reviewed together). The rating will be from what I have read so far (so it may change)

Review of Inoculata by Scott Westerfeld & Cold Hands by Cassandra Clare
From Uglies and Mortal Instruments... to zombies! Seems like everyone is converting to zombies! I don't blame them, team zombie really is where it's at!

Scott Westerfeld and Cassandra Clare's stor...more
Fiction State Of Mind
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 (...more 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 sho...more
I resisted reading this one for awhile, because 1) I'm not a big fan of short story collections in general and 2) while I love zombies, I couldn't understand the appeal of dedicating half the collection to unicorns.

Seeing the epic debate over the merits of zombies vs. unicorns in NYC, however, changed my mind, and I am SO GLAD I picked up this collection. Most of the unicorn stories are somewhat tongue in cheek, and with a collection of authors like these, I really never should have doubted the...more
Initial reaction: This was a fun anthology, and I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, overall. I listened to the audiobook version which had Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black trading witty banter about which was better: zombies or unicorns. Judging from the assortment of stories here, it's safe to say I'm firmly Team Zombie (though I'll admit the end tally was rather close). Most of the stories here were rather engaging and entertaining on the whole, though there were a few that eithe...more
When I began, I thought for sure that I would be Team Zombie! Well, I think that I am still Team Zombie, but I must admit that I have more respect for unicorns now. As shown in some of the stories, they would be useful pets.

My favorite story was "Children of the Revolution", a zombie story. The best unicorn stories were "Princess Prettypants" and "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn".

The worst stories were "Thousand Flowers" and "Highest Justice". They were 1. really stupid, and 2...more
Simply put, Zombies vs. Unicorns is made of awesome. Personally, I never gave much thought to who would win such a contest. I have however, spent many hours debating who would win Smurfs vs. Gnomes. For start, Smurfs are blue, 10 pts. right there. But on the other side, Gnomes have that magical cotton ball that cures anything from starvation to maiming by animal trap. I think that earns at least 10 pts. as well. I suppose I could designate a winner based on who was the best dressed, but again, h...more
This book was one of the best fantasy books I've ever read. It has all the perfect stories compiled all in one book. The things I like best about reading books with lots of short stories is that if you don't like one or is getting tired of it, its over withen the chapter. Also it has just great sarcastic/humerous writing throughout it and I feel that keeps it fresh. This book goes through all the stereotypical thoughts about Unicorns and Zombies. Then it steps out into a complete different zone,...more
This was a book with a very important premise: Which is cooler, zombies or unicorns? The whole debate, and the deeply entrenched opinions on each side, are wonderfully reminiscent of the great astronauts vs. cavemen debate (on this, as in almost everything else, I'm Team Angel. Er, I mean Team Astronaut). Two authors, Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier lead two teams of authors, Team Unicorn and Team Zombie respectively, in writing stories. The stated purpose was to determine which were cooler...more
I guess Black and Larbalestier have been debating the merits of zombies vs. unicorns on the Internet for a while now, but I missed the hoopla until it finally spilled over into this anthology of twelve stories. At first, I thought that each story would be a death match between a zombie and a unicorn, but that would have gotten old fast, so I’m glad instead that each author represents a side: on Team Zombie, it’s Alaya Dawn Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare,...more
Jun 10, 2014 Victor rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I've finally read all of these stories!!!! The last seven stories were the best. As for the first five, they were not very good. I know a lot of people liked Bougainvillea and A Thousand Flowers, but I thought they were kind of boring.
Team Zombie won for me. I really only hated the unicorn stories that took place in medieval times.
My favorites of the collection are The Children of the Revolution by Maureen Johnson (I need to read her books! She is so funny), Inoculata by Scott Westerfeld,...more
Betsy Cornwell
You guys. You guys. From the moment I first heard about this book—on Twitter, many moons ago—I thought it sounded ridiculous. Stupid. Trendy and pandering to all the worst things about young adult literature.

And, eh, okay, maybe it is trendy. And maybe—well, definitely—it’s ridiculous. But I haven’t even finished it yet, and I’m already going to heartily recommend it to you based only on the two stories I quoted above. Not every selection in this anthology is so great (some are pretty lame, if y...more
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for far too long, and I am glad I picked it up. This anthology focuses on the issue of which is better: zombies or unicorns? Before I began, I thought I was more of a unicorn fan, but the zombie stories were certainly more interesting to read. There were a few great stories about unicorns, but I loved every zombie story. My favorite would have to be the one by Carrie Ryan, who is a pro at writing about zombies, in my opinion. The best part about are the...more
Despite the title, there is no grand zombie versus unicorn smack down. This would have been cool. There is one group of stories about unicorns, another about zombies, and the editors argue over which is better.

It is also really a young adult collection. And, therefore, I am outside of the intended audience. I am also more of a team unicorn than team zombie person.

I found three of the stories to be very good, one to be interesting and haunting, and the rest to be forgettable. A quick word about...more
Lori (Pure Imagination)
I have never reviewed an anthology, so I really don't know where to begin. I guess I will start off by saying that I usually do not like short stories, or reading a book of short stories all at one time. I usually grow bored with them. I like to have lots of character development and plot building and you just can't do that in short stories, but I am happy to say that I did not grown bored with this book.

Every single author in the book is fantastic and their stories were fantastic as well. I was...more
I haven't read many anthologies, and I'm not sure why considering how much I love short stories. Weirdly, Zombies vs. Unicorns didn't really grab me based on subject matter alone. Zombies are ridiculous. Unicorns have the prepubescent girl market cornered and are therefore distasteful. Which would gain my loyalty? It was a question I found myself strangely compelled to answer.

Both teams have their strengths and their weaknesses. Let's go with weaknesses first. Margo Lanagan (Unicorns) spent enti...more
Zombies vs Unicorns is an anthology featuring some very awesome authors. The book alternates between a story about unicorns and one about zombies. I don’t actually have a preference for zombies or unicorns and when I read this book I thought that maybe I would lean one way or the other. Nope, I still sit on the fence about the zombies vs unicorns debate. I have a feeling that I always will be a fence sitter.
Now, on to the stories; I have a bunch of favourites and then some that I didn’t like so...more
Reading Teen (Andye)
As I started to write my review for this (amazingly fantastic) book, I realized that writing it all together would be completely impossible. It would be like trying to review twelve different books at the same time. Therefore, allow me to present My Reviews in a Sentence:

The Highest Justice by Garth Nix (Unicorn):

I loved it and wished I could have had more of the story, but it was my first short story so I soon became acquainted with the fact that they often just end.

Love will Tear us Apart b...more
This is a collection of alternating short stories - every other one is representative of Team Zombie or Team Unicorn. This was kind of a ridiculous book in several ways.

1. It appears to have been born out of a discussion on a blog.
2. Meg Cabot wrote one of these stories. Really? (team unicorn, of course)
3. Unicorns and zombies are not mutually exclusive in my opinion. The stories are about human relationships with either zombies or unicorns, not about zombies AND unicorns together.
4. zombies...more
Alexa Grace
!Warning This Book Drops the F-word. Alot!

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, includ...more
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Young Adult Book ...: * "Prom Night" by Libba Bray 9 150 Oct 23, 2013 03:32PM  
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Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Gl...more
More about Holly Black...
Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) Ironside (Modern Faerie Tales, #3) White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #2)

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“The job of every generation is to discover the flaws of the one that came before it. That's part of growing up, figuring out all the ways your parents and their friends are broken.” 93 likes
“Holly: Seriously, you don't like unicorns? What kind person doesn't like unicorns?

Justine: What kind of a 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 off me all the time: hair, skin cells. Are you saying you disapprove of me?”
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