Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Zombicorns by John Green

ZombicornsDescription: Originally written as a Nerdfighter charity incentive author John Green presents to us (from novella introduction.) "a bad zombie apocalypse novella. It was written in a hurry. It is riddled with inconsistencies. And it never quite arrives at whatever point it sought to make. But remember: The $25 you donated to charity in exchange for this steaming mess of prose will help our species shuffle along, and I hope you’ll feel warmed by your good deed as you read."  The novella has since been made available under creative common license to be read online for free opening it up to the rest of us. 

Stats: YA Zombie Novella, 72 pages, Available Legally Online for Free

My Rating: 4 STARS

Zombicorns by John Green
alternate cover by LoriDays
Honestly, I'm in complete and total shock by how much I enjoyed this. Because really, Zombicorns is not "good" when compared to other written words, but it was very enjoyable. Although, one should note, it has nothing to do with Unicorns. (By far the most under-represented magical creature in fiction.)

As someone who consumes a lot of fan fiction of varying quality, I can say that this novella reads in a similar way. There's nothing glaringly bad about the writing, but you can see the errors and where things went wrong. Some readers will find this easier to tolerate than others, but overall I found it worked well with the journalling concept. (Because who proof-reads journal entries aside from me?)

Speaking of journals, Zombicorns is less about plot or character and more the ramblings one would have if the world was ending. I found the story was at its best when it wasn't talking about corn or Z's and was instead on some philosophical tangent. In most cases this would bother me, but here it worked well.
"Being a person, I had come to realize, is a communal activity. Dogs know how to be dogs. But people do not know how to be people unless and until they learn from other people. Which got me to wondering whether it’s possible to learn how to be a person in a world where all the people are dead." (59)
The ideas John presents in Zombicorns will be very recognizable to subscribers of the vlogbrothers. A lot of the tangents are about things both John and his brother Hank have discussed before in their videos, which made this especially fun for me because it took these abstract video ideas and gave them a very specific perspective and application.

Zombicorns is short and consumable, but it has its moments of meaning and depth. I'm glad this was something that John just put out there and didn't think about too much.

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