Short Story Screamers: Purity Test by Naomi Novik

Zombies Vs. Unicorns anthology Book Cover

Zombies Vs. Unicorns

H’okay, so I still have no clue what kind of a name to use for the weekend short story reviews that I shall be posting, as I have seen Short Story Sunday/Saturday on other blogs and I’m not about to be a name stealer. Hellz to the no. So, bear with me as you will probably see some awkward names floating around until I come up with something not so awkward.

Right-o chaps, right-o. It’s been a few months since my last short story review. As this is 2011 I am turning a new leaf and not being so lazy. And since it takes so much effort to blog about short stories, I have decided to read and review one short story per week. SO, for the next 9 weeks, you’ll see reviews of Short Stories from Unicorns vs. Zombies on Good Books And Good Wine. After that, here are the short story anthologies that I own:
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams
The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams
Believing Is Seeing: Seven Stories by Diana Wynne Jones
Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King
The Matisse Stories by A.S. Byatt
Homeland and Other Stories by Barbara Kingsolver
Night Shift by Stephen King
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl
Firebirds edited by Sharyn November
Firebirds Soaring edited by Sharyn November
Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
…and a few more

ANYWAYS onto Purity Test by Naomi Novik

Purity Test opens with a girl, Alison, who is clearly drunk in central park. She sees a unicorn, who keeps asking her if she is a virgin, which Alison denies. The unicorn, named Belcazar, drags Alison with him to save baby unicorns from an evil wizard named Otto. Otto is convinced baby unicorns hold the key to immortality. Did I mention this all takes place in New York City?

Well, the 16 pages of this short story are clearly made of win. (FYI the 15 pages refers to my ARC.) I mean, there is SARCASM and funny. And now I want to read more things by Naomi Novick. Pretty much the majority of things which come out of Belcazar’s mouth are hilarious. You see, Belcazar makes many references to unicorn tropes, like the whole virgin thing, and fairy land, etc, and turns them on it’s head. Yes, yes, I know, totally awesome.

There is also a Craig’s List reference, which again, I find funny, as I am bizarre like that.

Oh, and here is just a taste for you:

“The unicorn turned its head and gave her a blue-eyed glare. ‘Yes. Fairyland,’ it said, dripping sarcasm. ‘Fairlyland, where the fairies and the unicorns play, and never is heard a discouraging—‘” pg. 55

Disclosure: Review Copy

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I haven’t read any short stories in a while. I am sure you will come up with a great name for your Short Story weekends. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh man, I really need to read this book! It’s been sitting on my shelf neglected since BEA πŸ™
    Great review!
    I tried to do a short story feature once – I think I called it Short Story Snippets – not very good I know, and it took me forever to come up with it!

  3. I loved Zombies Vs Unicorns, I’m excited to read your reviews of the stories! πŸ™‚

  4. I wish that this story was longer, since so much was crammed into so little. It was still really hilarious, and I think that Novik should continue writing stories like this.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brianna Ahearn, April C. April C said: Short Story Review: Purity Test by Naomi Novik who knew sarcastic unicorns could be so awesome […]

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