Team Zombie Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Maureen Johnson, Carrie Ryan, Scott Westerfeld and captained by Justine Larbalestier, the author of Liar, How to Ditch Your Fairy and The Magic or Madness trilogy. She has been a zombie enthusiast ever since she first saw George Romero's Night of the Living Dead as a tiny tot. She lives in Sydney, Australia + New York City, USA. Team Unicorn Meg Cabot, Kathleen Duey, Margo Lanagan, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund are captained by Holly Black, the bestselling author of the Spiderwick series and other novels for teens including, Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale, Valiant and Ironside, (the Tithe sequel) which was a New York Times bestseller. Her new novel, White Cat, is to be published in the US Summer 2010. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Gr 9 Up-Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier have gathered 12 stories about zombies and unicorns by well-known and lesser-known authors in this collection (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010). There are lots of surprises in terms of subject matter and authorship (who would suspect Meg Cabot of writing a unicorn story, "Princess Prettypants"). The editors play up the competitive nature of the collection, with Black a definite unicorn fan who feels zombies have nothing to offer but rot and death. Larbalestier considers zombies a part of our very nature, impossible to deny. Because the full cast-Ellen Grafton, Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, Julia Whelan, and Phil Gigante-do such a masterful job of realizing the characters in each story, the banter between the editors in between each story is sometimes distracting. In addition to these introductory remarks, music signals whether the story is about zombies (heavy music) or unicorns (light, sparkly sounds). There are no holes barred in terms of language (cursing) and subjects, including zombie homosexuals. Among the tales are Carrie Ryan's "Bougainvillea," Dawn Johnson's "Love Will Tear Us Apart," "Prom Night" by Libba Bray, Scott Westerfeld's "Inoculata," and Garth Nix's "The Highest Justice." An imaginative, entertaining collection.-Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this offbeat anthology, editors Black and Larbalestier embark upon a literary throw-down to determine which is superior: zombies or unicorns. To that end, each assembled a six-person team of writers and set them loose. Each story is prefaced by editorial banter as each editor (hilariously) makes her case. Highlights include Diana Peterfreund's Rampant tie-in, "The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn"; Libba Bray's postapocalyptic tale of teens trying to maintain a semblance of civilization in "Prom Night"; and Maureen Johnson's pointed take on celebrity fads in "The Children of the Revolution." Meg Cabot's "Princess Prettypants" skewers the image of unicorns as sparkling, rainbow-farting "symbols of pure happiness, hope, and awesomesauce," while Carrie Ryan's "Bougainvillea" acts as a prologue to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Scott Westerfeld's "Inoculata" examines what happens when the zombie hordes finally win, while the zombie in Alaya Dawn Johnson's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" isn't nearly as far gone. Without a clunker in the bunch, this anthology more than lives up to the potential its concept suggests. Zombies or unicorns? There's no clear winner, unless it's readers. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.