Tatiana's Reviews > Zombies Vs. Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Holly Black
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's review
May 09, 11

bookshelves: 2010, ya, short-stories
Recommended to Tatiana by: YA book club selection
Read from November 17 to 25, 2010

As seen on The Readventurer

And the winner is...


Frankly, I have no interest in zombies and unicorns, I just don't, and especially in unicorns. But I was induced to give this anthology a chance mostly by many of my GR friends' positive reviews. They didn't let me down. Unlike almost all multi-author collections, this one is very strong.

The zombie stories are almost consistently very good. The weakest, expectedly, is Cassandra Clare's necrophilic Cold Hands. Not only is it written poorly, but it has a fundamental flaw in logic - why aren't bodies of the deceased simply burned? Wouldn't that stop all the town's problems?

The rest of the stories are great though.

Alaya Dawn Johnson managed to convince me zombies can be sexually attractive (that's a first!) in her Love Will Tear Us Apart, points added for boy/boy love story, points taken away for crassness and excessive use of the f-word.

Carrie Ryan's Bougainville is a million times better than the only novel of hers I've read (The Forest of Hands and Teeth). Great survival story with a twisty ending, no nauseating love triangles and quadrangles and the heroine is actually likable.

The Children of the Revolution by Maureen Johnson is about creepy zombie kiddies and a freaky celebrity.

Scott Westerfeld's Inoculata left me yearning for more. The whole idea of people mutating to co-exist with zombies is fascinating. There is also some girl on girl action.

The most bleak story is saved for the end. Libba Bray's teen survivors don't have much to look forward to after Prom Night is over.

Ironically, both my most and least favorite stories are about unicorns. Garth Nix's The Highest Justice and Naomi Novik's Purity Test are half-baked creations that they probably threw together in minutes. Nothing original or exciting about them.

Meg Cabot's Princess Prettypants, as you can expect from the title, is a pure silliness and fluff, but the writing is very engaging and I have a soft spot for Meg's characters.

The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn definitely needs a better title, but the unicorn in this story is super-cute in spite of having sharp teeth and being carnivorous. Maybe I should give Diana Peterfreund's novels a try?

And finally, the best! The unicorn in Kathleen Duey's The Third Virgin is a hardcore addict! And Margo Lanagan's A Thousand Flowers is full of deliciously gory stuff like rape, bestiality, murder and child birth. Only fans of Tender Morsels should proceed with this one.

So yay for creepy unicorns as well!

(This one is up to no good)

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Reading Progress

11/17/2010 page 19
4.0% "The Highest Justice - 2"
11/17/2010 page 50
12.0% "Love Will Tear Us Apart - 4 (f)"
11/17/2010 page 69
17.0% "Purity Test - 2" 5 comments
11/19/2010 page 109
26.0% "Zombies are definitely ahead so far Bougainvillea - 4"
11/20/2010 page 109
26.0% "A Thousand Flowers - 5. Bestiality!"
11/21/2010 page 179
43.0% "The Children of the Revolution - 4"
11/23/2010 page 237
57.0% "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn - 4. What a title!"
11/23/2010 page 275
66.0% "Inoculata - 4. These stories are consistently good. It's unnatural." 1 comment
11/24/2010 page 325
78.0% "Princess Prettypants - 3" 3 comments
11/25/2010 page 347
84.0% "Cold Hands - 2. Necrophilia!"
11/25/2010 page 385
93.0% "The Third Virgin - 5"
11/25/2010 page 415
100.0% "Prom Night - 3"

Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)

message 1: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Wowza, what a book title. What's next, Monsters vs. My Little Pony??

Tatiana LOL! I won't be surprised.

Heather Did you know that there is a steampunk movie coming out titled "Cowboys and Aliens"? Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are going to be in it.

Tatiana I heard about it, but I can't say this title does anything for me. It's just too bizarre.

Heather Well we saw the trailer last night at the Harry Potter premier and everyone laughed when the title came on at the end, lol.

Wicked Incognito Now Yeah, I thought: "that's movie I must see"

message 7: by AH (new) - added it

AH Great review, Tatiana. You must give Diana Peterfreund a try. I loved her take on unicorns. I read Ascendant last month and loved it.

Tatiana I might. Her story was definitely one of the best in the collection.

Tatiana Thanks, Jillian. I'll keep your advice in mind as well:)

I think you will enjoy this book.

message 10: by AH (new) - added it

AH You can even skip Rampant and read Ascendant. I didn't really miss that much back info.

Kat Kennedy Bwhahahha! Great review Tatiana! I loved the pic at the end.

I agree. I usually love Garth Nix but his unicorn story was really half-baked!

Tatiana Indeed it was.

Which one was your fave BTW? You review if this book is insufficient.

Kat Kennedy Oh no, does this mean that my pay gets docked?

To be honest, I have to finish reading it. I won't be able to do that unil NaNoWriMo is over because NaNo is killing me.

Tatiana Oh, I see. You sure were very quick to rate it though;)

Anyway, NaNoWriMo is almost over. How did it go for you?

Kat Kennedy I went really well up until this weekend. I was up to date with my word count and going for gold.

Then my sister in law when into premature labour and I've spent all my time in hospital with her. I'm so far behind now! I'll try and catch up over the next couple of days but right now I'm only sitting at 45,000 words. :(

Well, I didn't mind rating it. I read most of the stories and quite liked most of them. I'll get around to the rest soon.

message 16: by Hannah (last edited Nov 29, 2010 05:58PM) (new)

Hannah Glad you read these so I don't have to!

I love your reviews, T. Let's me see what I'm missing out on...

message 17: by Elisa (new) - added it

Elisa I'm just going to have to read this...

message 18: by Cory (new) - added it

Cory This sounds promising. Too bad John Green didn't join in though.

Heather I don't know how I missed this review on your feed, but it is glorious.

"The weakest, expectedly, is Cassandra Clare's necrophilic Cold Hands"

That cheap shot made me lol :)

"points taken away for crassness and excessive use of the f-word."

Yes! Note to self, check out the story with crasness and the f-bomb :)

Tatiana That's how I roll:)

And I think you'll like the f-word one and it's #2 in the collection.

Kat Kennedy I was particularly fond of the cheap shot, myself.

Last night Mr Kat and I found out that we are expecting a new addition to the family. I asked Mr Kat about what names he liked and he thought about it for a moment and said, "I like Cassandra..."

I glared at him for a full ten seconds and said, "Don't you know me at all?"

Clearly, the man has not been paying attention.

Tatiana That's big, Kat. Congratulation!:)

Kat Kennedy Thank you, Tatiana!

Tatiana Feel free to call her Tatiana:P

Kat Kennedy It's on the top of the list of girl's names. It is actually such a classically awesome and powerful girls name but it won't go with our last name, unfortunately.

message 26: by AH (new) - added it

AH Congratulations Kat. Is it your first child? I guess you did take a few much needed breaks from NaNoRiMo.

Kat Kennedy Bwhwhaaha, AH! You're cheeky!

No, this will be my second. The first cheeky monkey is currently crawling all over me while I'm trying to type.

message 28: by AH (new) - added it

AH That's great! Two cheeky monkeys close in age. Congrats again.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh my gosh! Congratulations, Kat!!!! Yay!!

Kat Kennedy Thanks, Ariel!

I'm very sorry for hijacking your thread, Tatiana. Can I offer you 1 lolcat as compensation?

message 31: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 01, 2010 06:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tatiana Absolutely:)

I am honored the baby news came out on this thread, below flesh-eating zombies and pervy unicorns:)

Kat Kennedy Yes, that is strangely appropriate for a baby announcement from me, isn't it!


Penny Nice. Love the use of picture in your review.

But seriously, you liked the zombie love stories? Really? Okay, I actually sort of liked Scott Westerfeld's story, which was somewhat surprising considering. But the other love story? The one with the boy on boy action? Yeah. Not my cuppa because the MC's crazy lust for flesh and overuse of the F-bomb. Though yeah, that story sort of redeemed itself in the end. Sort of. -ish.

Anyway, great review. Glad to see you enjoying an anthology. :)

Kat Kennedy There's boy/boy zombie loving?

*Kat dashes off to see*

Penny Kat wrote: "I was particularly fond of the cheap shot, myself.

Last night Mr Kat and I found out that we are expecting a new addition to the family. I asked Mr Kat about what names he liked and he thought ab..."

You're pregnant Kat? Awesome. I'll have to start reading entire threads before replying because I totally missed that.

You could name your baby Penny. Penny is a good name--kidding! It's cute, I suppose, but I totally hated it when I was a kid.

Kat Kennedy I hated my name too, Penny. I didn't meet another Kathleen until I was 14 and she hated her name as well.

Yes. preggers. I am on the look out for baby names. Just not Cassandra! *Glares at Mr Kat*

Penny Heather wrote: "Did you know that there is a steampunk movie coming out titled "Cowboys and Aliens"? Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are going to be in it."

Wait, WHAT?!!! Daniel Craig is yummy. Harrison Ford... was yummy. Okay, so he's lookin' a little geriatric these days, but he still looks good. But Daniel Craig? I'd watch him in any movie.

Penny Congratulations! Babies are fun. I love them. (I can say that and totally mean it now that I no longer have screaming little babies of my own. But yeah, even though my kids drive me half-insane, on a daily basis, I still love them).

And the baby announcement, on this thread, is oddly appropriate considering it's you we're talking about--bless you for being such an awesome mom. You should think about sending out announcements featuring zombies and/or killer unicorns.

message 39: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 02, 2010 04:26AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tatiana Yes, Penny, my fave stories were the creepiest:) Prettypants and chocolate mild drinking baby unicorns don;t do it for me.

Kat, how did you miss boy on boy zombie loving? It's the story #2

Heather Kat, congratulations on becoming a mutti for the second time.

Penny, I was shocked, but the movie actually seems as though it may be kinda fun, ignoring the lameo title of course.

message 41: by Dominika (new) - added it

Dominika Congratulations!!! Babcia must be thrilled ;)

message 42: by AH (new) - added it

AH Penny wrote: "Heather wrote: "Did you know that there is a steampunk movie coming out titled "Cowboys and Aliens"? Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are going to be in it."

Wait, WHAT?!!! Daniel Craig is yummy. ..."

Oh I so agree about Daniel Craig. Nice to look at. I'll have to check out that movie.

Heather AH wrote: "Penny wrote: "Heather wrote: "Did you know that there is a steampunk movie coming out titled "Cowboys and Aliens"? Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig are going to be in it."

Wait, WHAT?!!! Daniel Cra..."

I'll give fair warning though. Daniel has a mustache in the movie :(

message 44: by AH (new) - added it

AH I'll give fair warning though. Daniel has a mustache in the movie :(

No! Say it isn't so!

Tatiana Ew! I am out!

message 46: by Heather (last edited Dec 02, 2010 09:20AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heather Oh wait, that was inaccurate, he is just anorexic looking....

But you can see why I thought that...

Tatiana Anorexic and dirty.

No, the mustache doesn't look on him, or anyone for that matter.

Kat Kennedy Who wrote the story with boy on boy action?

Tatiana Alaya Dawn Johnson

Claire I loved the one by Alaya Dawn Johnson. It made me grin and obsess over the characters quite a lot. :) Personally, I couldn't read 'A Thousand Flowers'. I flicked through, and my eye kind of twitched when I figured out the unicorn impregnated the princess.

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