Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: Zombicorns by John Green

So as I said, I'd even read John Green's grocery lists so here it is, an unusually long grocery list (Just kidding, it's way better than a grocery list, this is only some kind of weird introduction):

My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: Zombicorns #1
Genre: dystopia, science-fiction, young adult, fantasy, post apocalyptic
Published: January 2011
Pages: 72 (ebook)
Source: This book has been made available under creative commons license, so it can be acquired legally here (for free):

Eff Yeah Nerdfighters - Goodreads

The apocalypse came different than everyone thought: It came with the corn. People turned into Zombies who only cared about the corn. Now Chicago is the city of the undead, there are very few humans left. Mia is one of these humans.

Mia is the last human being living in Chicago, currently hiding in a basement with her stray dog Mr. President. She drinks the wine she has found there and writes her story down. She doesn't know what to do: Go north like Caroline, who used to be her friend, always wanted to? Mia refused to go north because of her sister, but now she can't stay in Chicago forever without any human company. And with time she's running out of wine - She will have leave her basement soon so she must decide.

John Green: He was born in 1977. In 2007 he co-created a famous videoblog called Brotherhood 2.0 with his brother Hank which only went for a year. They still have a YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers on which they post weekly videos. He is also the author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, The Fault In Our Stars and Papertowns.

My Thoughts

I think I would consider myself a fan of John Green. Definitely. Which is kind of rare (For those who don't know me, here is a typical conversation: "Oh my God, I loved that book!" - "I'm a fan of this as well!" - "Uh, sorry, but I never said I was a fan." - "You said you loved it, didn't you? And doesn't that make you a fan?". Nope. It doesn't.). But anyway, there are the following exceptions: John Green and Sherlock. So when I read the introduction:

"Dearest Reader,
This is 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. Thank you for decreasing the overall worldwide level of suck, and as they say in my hometown: Don’t forget to be awesome.

Best wishes!
John Green"

 I just snorted because I thought "Ha! Whatever It's going to be awesome!". Then I downloaded it and printed it out. Somehow our printer doesn't like me and there are always lots of misunderstandings, so I had to turn the pages in a way that there was always one page upside down. But I didn't mind because this was a lot of fun anyway.

John Green's writing style is really good (I think it's always really good) and funny in a unique way. A lot of weird, interesting thoughts (Remember the scrambled eggs from The Fault In Our Stars?) and ideas - I mean, come on, would any of you have come to the idea that it would be corn that is responsible for the apocalypse? No? Me neither. So the basic idea of this book was pretty good. It was definitely not as bad as John Green said in the introduction, but it wasn't completely good either: Sometimes it was just too weird. Corn controls everything. Okay. I get that. But how does it control everything? Sure, the main character probably doesn't actually know what's going in inside corn, but I still would want to know. It could be explained further and the reactions could be more detailed, because it just seemed a bit flat.

And because this book only has 72 pages I expected it to be extremely fast-paced, but in some moments this was really slow and hard to get through, there were simply too many and too long descriptions and nearly no conversation. There wasn't a lot happening. She just sat there and had flashbacks which explained the story and she worried about her dog and what to do, but I kind of expected a lot more action and less philosophy.
Another thing I didn't like is the protagonist Mia. Even after finishing the book I couldn't really imagine her and to be honest it took me half of the book to realize she was not a boy. Seriously. And I think it's really important that the protagonist seems real and has a lot of detail so you can imagine them. The other people in the story were better developed. I just loved Mia's family, they were so realistic and what happened to her little sister made me so sad.
What I said about the characters is also true about the setting: I didn't actually get to know Chicago any better and I guess I'm not the only one who has never been to Chicago. Maybe I would've enjoyed this story more if I could have imagined the setting.

My favorite quote from the whole book was this one: "Love is the privilege of being responsible for another." 

But the worst thing about this story is the title - who did not think this is about unicorns? Other people are probably smarter than me and are able to read the disclaimer before they read the story but who thinks about corn when reading the word Zombicorns? And there is a unicorn on the cover. Is this a joke? It's a bit strange reading something you didn't expect at all and I have to admit that these wrong expectations do affect my rating of this book.
I'm still kind of looking forward to the second book The War for Banks Island although I won't be reading it too soon.

In defiance of all the things I didn't like I would still recommend this book if you look for something original and post apocalyptic (and short). And you should like Zombies.

3 / 5 Stars


  1. Not sure if I do want to read this book. Probably better to read one of the other works of the author.

    1. I guess that's a pretty good idea! My suggest for greenies in the Greendom (Haha, so funny, isn't it? No. Okay) is The Fault In Our Stars, or Paper Towns. He also wrote Will Grayson Will Grayson together with David Levithan, that one's really nice too.

  2. LOL! Great Review. I haven't read this book (possibly bad form for a book blogger but I have not read any of John Green's books, although I do know who he is - I'm very impressed with Crash Course.). I've got to say I was disappointed that the the book wasn't about zombified unicorns but was instead about corn.

    I think the fact that the money goes to charity probably makes it worth reading and maybe if you are a writer/wannabe writer it could be useful to see how sometimes ideas don't work out so well.

    Thanks again for a very entertaining review.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm always very happy with such positive comments :D