10 May 2019

Review: The Unicorn Anthology


An American reporter rides along with a British park ranger through a park filled with multidimensional unicorns. A princess and a poisoned zombie queen must find the queen’s murderer before the queen decomposes...or eats someone. The cutthroat world of competitive unicorn riding gets even more intense after a relationship might end the career of a rider. A man’s life is ruined after he is unjustly accused of defiling a noblewoman, but he is led to the lady by a magnificent beast. A brash bookseller must navigate demons, black market couriers, pretty girls, and gumshoes while searching out a most unusual artifact.

You'd never guess it now but grew up a girly girl. I actually had a pink bedroom, complete with unicorn border. This one to be exact (thank you Google):


Sweet little frolicking unicorns. So...yeaaaah. I guess I went into this with magical sparkles in my eyes. My bad.
I've been on a run with anthologies lately, which is great because I usually LOVE anthologies. When the opportunity arose to review The Unicorn Anthology, I was excited!  I guess I expected you know, shiny, white, magical, unicorns. Instead, this was quite the dark anthology with rape, suicide, and death. A lot of death. Which is typically fine when I'm expecting a lot of death like a horror anthology, but this just smacked me upside the head. 
Most of the stories fell under three major themes: the way outdated and overdone, "unicorns only like virgins", a transformation of some sort, and innocence or righteousness. I tended to like the last category, feel meh about the middle, and LOATHE the first. The stories also vary in how the unicorn is interpreted and how in the forefront it is, which means just barely in some of these interpretations. 

There are spoilers involved so read on at your own peril. 

The Magical Properties of Unicorn Ivory - 3 🐾
A Large Hadron Collider created dimensional portals and unicorns slipped through. 
I liked the set up of this story and the fact that there were forest rangers dealing with the unicorn poachers. Dislikes: Poachers. Dead Unicorn. 

The Brew 
- 2 🐾
Kids believe a magical whiskey with a unicorn on the label has healing properties, but it is in super grumpy neighbors basement. This one was a really weird read and hard to understand. Dislikes: Where's the unicorn? 

Falling of the Unicorn 
- 2.5 🐾
Equestrian Unicorns the size of ponies. Sweet f/f romance. Actual magic, finally! MC stands up to harridan mother which made me really happy. Dislikes: Unicorns can only be ridden by virgins and will violently attack anyone who is not. So lesbian sex doesn't count? Liked the story but subtracted points for the implications. 

A Hunters Ode to Bait 
- 1 🐾
Hunter buys a virgin to hunt and kill unicorns over many, many years. Dislikes: Dead unicorns!!! A gross relationship ending that's almost Stockholm syndrome. 

Ghost Town 
- 3 🐾
Con man finds himself in a little magical town and has a brief encounter with a unicorn. He learns to be a better man. Dislikes: Was just okay. At least no one killed the unicorn. 

A Thousand Flowers 
- 1 🐾
I got so lost on this one. The POV changed multiple times. There was a baby with green genitalia that may or may not have been a unicorn. I don't know? Weird. 

The Maltese Unicorn 
- 1 🐾
Lots of drugs and I don't just mean the characters in the story. A dildo made out of a unicorn horn. 
I think they stuck all the really weird ones in the middle to suck you in and make you keep reading. I mean, seriously. What. The. What. Dislikes: Rape. Weirdness and not in a good way.  

Stampede of Light 
- 4.5 🐾
A weird lady that no one, except a teacher, can see is kidnapping kids (that no one else remembers existing) on the playground at school and is embroidering them as unicorns on her skirts. I actually liked this one a lot though. Kinda creepy.

The Highest Justice 
- 5 🐾 
Unicorn helps the princess to dispense justice when the Queen is poisoned. This one was fun. I loved that the unicorn was actually up front and center in this one and had a hand (or horn) in bringing about justice. Extra points for zombie queen. 

The Lion and the Unicorn 
- 3.5 🐾
This one was super short and really dark, but I liked it. In this one, the unicorn is actually a boy. Dislikes: Why is there so much rape in this anthology?? In this story, it's only implied, but still. Dang.

Survivor - 4 🐾
I liked this one. Vietnam soldier gets a tattoo of unicorn after insulting tattoo artist. Believes he's cursed. Others think it's his good luck charm. Unicorn tattoo is actually absorbing those that died around him and he sets out to finish what they couldn't. The ending. Woah. 

Homeward Bound 
- 2 🐾
After his father dies, a boy is sent to live with his uncle. His uncle has a unicorn horn but tells him it's a narwhal horn, and the boy becomes obsessed with it. It shows him the truth about himself. The idea was interesting but the follow through didn't do it for me. 

Unicorn Triangle 
- 3 🐾 
Unicorn is cursed by a sorcerer, sent into the future, and changed into a human. Now working as a maid in a beach hotel, she meets the princess that she was supposed to. This one was super short. It had potential but I think it needed to be longer. 

My Son Heydari and the Karkadarnn - 2
 🐾
Peter Beagle wrote this one. You know, the guy who wrote The Last Unicorn? Apparently, unicorns aren't really his thing. Who knew? In this one, unicorns are called karkadanns and they are massive, brutal beasts, the size of Greek bulls, with a horn six feet long and curving fangs. Heydari treats one after it's injured.  Dislikes: Dead karkadann. 

The Transfigured Hart 
- 3 🐾
Two children form a friendship while searching for a unicorn that may just be a white stag. Dislikes: It. was. so. long. Descriptive scene of the deer goring a dog. 

Unicorn Series 
- 1 🐾
Aaaaannnnd....now there's poetry. No, just No.

The average of all of the above?? 2.5/5