Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Before reading this anthology, I never would have considered myself pro-zombie or pro-unicorn. Zombies are the lamest villains, and unicorns are the lamest heroes. But this collection of stories got me thinking about the possibilities.
All the stories in this book were well written and engaging, but only three of them really stood out to me.
My favorite was "The Care and Feeding of your Baby Killer Unicorn" by Diana Peterfreund. The girl in this book finds herself to be one of the few in the world who possess the power to hunt and kill unicorns, which are dangerous monsters with poisonous horns and murder people. Except instead of killing them, she ends up raising one in her garage, unbeknownst to her parents.
Coming in second was "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Alaya Dawn Johnson. Amazing writing! I've never read a story that so seamlessly moved from 1st person (told using "I") to 2nd person (told using "you") and then back to 1st. In fact, I've never read a story that contained so much 2nd person narrative. But Ms. Johnson managed to do it beautifully and made the story very pungent. You could really feel it and smell it and taste it. And when the main character, a zombie, thought about eating brains, you shuddered because you were the character. Very compelling and well done and intense.
I also liked "Prom Night" by Libba Bray. What would happen if all the adults became zombies and the teenagers had to take over and rule the city? My only complaint about this story is that it ended too soon. I wanted to know what happens next.
In the end, I have to say I have a lot more respect for both zombies and unicorns. Add a little imagination and neither of them are as lame as I once thought.
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