Zombies vs Unicorns

8:07:00 AM

Zombies vs Unicorns | Awesome in Manila

"Not everyone who dies comes back. Sometimes they come back to right a wrong. Sometimes to reveal a secret no one else knows, or to tell family members where a treasure was buried. Sometimes they just can't bear to be dead. Or, like the girl in the song whose bones were made into harp, they return to sing a  song of the one who killed them."

That was an excerpt from Cold Hands by Cassandra Clare, which, ironically, is my least favorite zombie story in Zombies vs Unicorns - an anthology edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier.

I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON THAT BOOK, I told myself the first time I heard about it. I mean, I've never had a thing for unicorns (rainbow farts? Seriously?) and my appreciation for zombies is young (it all started with Zombieland...) but a face-off, however unnecessary really, to find out which creature made for better fiction and is, well, better in general is one of the most interesting things I've heard of in a while.

I've given it away already, I'm Team Zombie. It's just so much fun to watch or read zombies get killed. It's not really about loving zombies per se, but it's the fun in killing them (which is close to inhumane, I know, since they once had life too but whatever). On the other hand, unicorn stories usually have knights and princesses and castles and magic - a lot of things I don't appreciate (but yes I've watched and loved Disney princesses - which don't have unicorns, do they?) and it's usually a symbol of goodness and cutesies and boring. (And yes I'm close-minded about it.) I mean, the morbid thought of mercilessly sucking out rainbows from unicorns doesn't even sound as fun as swinging a katana in a horde of zombie necks.

But on with the review. The book has a pretty solid collection of zombie and unicorn themed stories. There were let-downs like Cold Hands, unfortunately since it's the only zombie story that presented the idea that the undead can really walk among the living and not eat them. And the unicorn story A Thousand Flowers by Margo Lanagan, which is as gross as it is confusing.

But there were really good ones too like Carrie Ryan's Bougainvillea and Scott Westerfeld's Inoculata, which are, of course, zombie stories. To be fair, I did enjoy Meg Cabot's Princess Prettypants - only because it had good unicorn humor. But my favorite would be Alaya Dawn Johnson's Love Will Tear Us Apart because it has hipster gay zombies who listen to Arctic Monkeys (!!!). (I don't personally know anyone else who do </3.) Also worth noting is Dana Peterfreund's The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn, which doesn't need further explanation.

There were no actual zombie-unicorn showdowns. I think that would have been very interesting. There was one mash-up, Garth Nix' The Highest Justice, but I didn't enjoy it so much.

All together it was entertaining. I finished it in less than a week. I still have no respect for unicorn-lovers and I still love all forms of zombie entertainment. This book is winning.

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  1. When I read that quote, parang nanunuod ako ng intro/outro ng Desperate Housewives. Hahaha.


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