The Daily Monocle

Critical book reviews from a literary skeptic.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Zombies vs. Unicorns Anthology + Giveaway

Posted by J. P. Wickwire

It is the most epic battle of all time, between two of the most epic creatures in all of history. You've been waiting for it; I've been waiting for it. And finally, it's here

What is it? Zombies versus unicorns, of course. And thanks to editors Holly Black (team unicorn) and Justine Larbalestier (team zombie), we can find all of this action-packed epicness in a handy anthology aptly titled… Zombies vs. Unicorns.

This collection of stories exceeded my expectations. Whereas only a fraction of most anthologies are worth reading, Zombies vs. Unicorns offers something witty, surprising, and, most importantly, original on every page.

Each tale is a unique take on the tried-and-true concept of either zombies, or unicorns (or occasionally, both). And alternating between these two (three?) possibilities, we as readers get an unbiased presentation of epicness that allows us to choose our own side—zombies, or unicorns?

Zombies vs. Unicorns hosts a plethora of well-known YA, and/or speculative fiction authors. From Naomi Novik, to Scott Westerfeld—from Meg Cabot to Cassandra Clare—you'll find a vast array of different styles and textures to whet your reading appetite. And, although the subject matter exists primarily within two different mediums—zombies and unicorns, of course—I never got tired of either concept.

Although it's difficult for me to choose any one story that I liked the best, there were three that really stood out from the crowd.

--The Third Virgin by Kathleen Duey (team unicorn) – Told from the point of a view of a unicorn, the Third Virgin shows us the soul of a tortured being trapped within his existence. It is a tale of desperation and bittersweet happiness, but is characterized extraordinarily well and has a satisfying conclusion.

--Love Will Tear Us Apart by Alaya Dawn Johnson – is, in my opinion, the most well-written story within this anthology. It follows two distinct characters—one human, one zombie—and the relationship that grows between them. Again, wonderfully characterized.

--Bougainvillea by Carrie Ryan – Not only does this story have legions of the undead, it also has pirates. And while pirates-versus-ninjas is another battle entirely, I can say that I am team pirate and was more than pleased to see two of my favorite creatures combined into a plot-driven fantasy set in a small island in the Tropics.

If I'm being perfectly honest, there are plenty of other stories that could have been featured here for perfectly valid reasons. I had such a difficult time choosing only three (my self-imposed limit).

Zombies vs. Unicorns hits shelves September 21st, and it's definitely an anthology to read. Plus it enables you to answer that all-important question: zombies or unicorns?

To aid you in this difficult choice, The Daily Monocle is hosting a giveaway of one hardcover copy of Zombies vs. Unicorns. This giveaway is open to residents of the USA and Canada and runs from September 12th – September 26th. Just fill out the form below to enter. DEADLINE EXTENDED. CONTEST NOW RUNS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hey, darling. Just me, dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

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