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Zombies Vs. Unicorns

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  12,806 ratings  ·  1,912 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, 415 pages
Published September 21st 2010 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published September 1st 2010)
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Jennifer Maloney It's not a part of anything. It's a short story compilation.
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Miranda Reads
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In a world dominated by Sparkling Vampires and Hot Werewolves, one dynamic duo dare to analyze the true question of our era - Zombies VS Unicorns.

Twelve short stories (each involving either Zombies or Unicorns) provide ample evidence for both sides, it is up to you to decide which one is truly better.

The highest justice by Garth Nix - Right off the bat we are toeing the line. An undead queen carried by a unicorn of death has one last wish - a kiss from her husband. Macabre and fun.

Love will tea
...more
Catie
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Tatiana
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
Hannah Greendale
Team Zombie started with one of the strongest stories in the book, but in the end it was Team Unicorn for the win.

The most dazzling contenders:

- "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Alaya Dawn Johnson [Team Zombie]
- "Purity Test" by Naomi Novik [Team Unicorn]
- "A Thousand Flowers" by Margo Lanagan [Team Unicorn]
Megan
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Max Lau  • Maxxesbooktopia
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars-books
“If you love someone, you’re not supposed to want them to come back. Better a peaceful sleep in the earth than the life of a zombie–not really dead but not really alive, either.”- Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Cassandra Clare.


My thoughts: Introduction

Let us start off with the introduction in each of the story that was presented in the book. Every introduction began with a heated conversation between Holly (Team Unicorn) and Justine (Team Zombie). Their conversations were mostly about how you sho
...more
Meggy
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Kat Kennedy
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Zombies...

Unicorns...

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
Annalisa
Dec 10, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Ellen
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Priscilla
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wonderful anthology of unicorns and zombies!

Thoughts:
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!
...more
Kim
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, unicor
...more
stephanie
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
Penny
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
hope ❅
Dec 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Okay so when I stared this book I was automatically thinking "this is definitely going to be a terrible " I mean seriously? Zombies and unicorns. I have to say I kinda hate both. But on about the 60th page this book finally picked up and I was like "yeah okay, this is pretty good." then on the 80th all that hope I had for this book was crushed to smithereens.
I don't know why I even picked this book up, it was kinda horrible. The writing was decent but the plot and characters were dull and dissa
...more
Amy Norris
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This short story collection puts forth the much-debated question - zombies or unicorns? On Team Zombie (led by Justine Larbalestier) we have Libbra Bray, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, and Carrie Ryan. On Team Unicorn (led by Holly Black0 we have Kathleen Duey, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik, and Diana Peterfreund.

I am a unicorn lover so of course, going in, I was Team Unicorn however after finishing this I am on the fence. There were g
...more
Anna
It has everything from gay zombies to unicorns that fart rainbows that smell like flowers. What more could you want from a zombie and unicorn anthology?

That being said, some of the writing was..... not good. And the intros for the stories were beyond cringy.
Aubrey
It's a sad fact that the transformation from child to adult is commonly defined as the growth in both ability and instinct to put books such as this down not for reasons of the work inciting genocidal hatred or solidifying the accompanying trigger-happy fragility complexes of the all too able, but for being rather silly, or limited, or kitsch in scope. Therefore, I don't take especial pride in noting that the majority of these do not appeal, but only take comfort in the fact that I did my best t ...more
Angela
Sep 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
I honestly didn't get this book. Was it even really necessary?

Plain and simple, it's a collection of stories for geeks, nerds and comic book salesmen alike. I honestly think it was trying to rake it in off the recent zombie apocalypse subgenre popularity and the whole "brony" fad from that god-awful My Little Pony show. Before zombies and unicorns, it was vampire romances. In about five years something else will be the new trend, probably elves, faeries or talking donkeys. I'd rather not think
...more
Kai Charles(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
Maya
So I'll do that thing I do when I review anthologies: review them by short stories. I mean, what other way is there? You may have absolutely hated one (NEGATIVE ONE STAR!) But loved another (1000 STARS!!:D) So I give each story the right to be represented. YEAH! So let's get on with it!!

The Introduction: Yeah, I know it wasn't a short story, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I like those authors. So it was fun to read! Read funny introduction! Yes! I don't know why I'm talking like that...

The High
...more
Sydney Smith
Feb 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
I don't think I was the right audience for this. The book itself is a beautiful hardback with a gorgeous cover (not with the black on it like in the thumbnail) but that's about the only thing I liked about this collection of short stories. I read this one so fast only because I was basically skimming the stories after the first 3 stories I read at random were just so damn boring. I'm disappointed in the authors, who are known for writing some pretty popular fantasy or horror books. I was really ...more
Raquel Evans
Mar 18, 2020 marked it as dnf
I ended up skimming and skipping stories after the first few, and I think there were only two stories I really enjoyed in the whole thing.

Also. I was pretty horrified by the content level for a book labeled '14 and up'. *Technically*, it wasn't graphic, but there were all kinds of references and implications around subjects like orgies and rape, plus the more direct gross and brutal parts of the zombie stories, the story that included the death of an infant, and much other similarly disturbing
...more
Amanda Kratz
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
So this is actually an interesting premise. A few authors got into an argument on one of their online message boards about which creatures were better Zombies or Unicorns. They then decided to write stories about them and compile them into a book. There is #TeamZombie & #TeamUnicorn. Several very silly tales with many popular authors you may recognize like Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Scott Westerfeld, Naomi Noviak, Meg Cabot & many others.

Here are brief thoughts about the short stories contain
...more
Crowinator
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
Brittany
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yafantasy
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
Littlebookterror
Overall, this was a weird anthology. The commentary before each short story was cringey at best and awful at worst, I think it was supposed to be funny? While I like the idea of that I found the execution to be terribly lacking.
As for my general enjoyment... there were only two stories that really stood out to me ( Love Will Tear Us Apart and The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn). The fact that while I love unicorns I am not a fan did not help my ratings when it comes to the Team Zom
...more
Giselle
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 stories
...more
juje
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 8th-grade, horror
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
Rachel
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Young Adult Book ...: "A Thousand Flowers" by Margo Lanagan 23 271 Oct 17, 2016 01:01PM  
Wild Things: YA G...: January 2011- Zombies Vs. Unicorns by Holly Black 17 89 Aug 24, 2014 05:00PM  
ZOMBIES OR UNICORNS 19 64 Aug 07, 2014 08:41AM  
The Challenge Fac...: Lauren & Sunshine - Zombies Vs. Unicorns 10 14 May 26, 2014 03:42PM  
Young Adult Book ...: * "Prom Night" by Libba Bray 9 169 Oct 23, 2013 03:32PM  

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38,339 followers
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house ...more

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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.” 126 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?”
69 likes
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