The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
|The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: From zombie children to the barbarism of the human race, Ryan explores her post-apocalyptic world with an unflinching eye. A tense page turner that will have you gripped.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: July 2009|
Mary has lived her whole life in a village in the middle of the Forest of Hands and Teeth, protected from the Unconsecrated by a fence. Life in the village is simple if you follow the rules – obey the Sisterhood for they know best, preserve the next generation by marrying and having children and stay away from the fence.
Then Mary's mother is bitten when she strays too close to the fence, looking for her husband who was lost some months ago. The Guardians want to kill her before she turns and becomes Unconsecrated, but Mary's mother chooses to live and join her husband in the Forest.
Mary's life is turned upside down. With no husband, and her brother not wanting to see her because she allowed their mother to join the Unconsecrated, Mary has nowhere to go except to join the Sisterhood. But the Sisters have dark secrets, secrets that lead Mary to believe there really is life beyond the fence and Forest. So when the fence is breached, Mary and a few survivors escape to the path that leads from their village. Trapped in a maze of fences and gates, Mary is desperate to find her way out to the ocean, but is it possible when surrounded by so much death? And what if the ocean is just a story, what if there is no end to the Forest…
This book was born from discussions about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Anyone who has had similar conversations will probably love it. It reads a bit like The Village meets Dawn of the Dead. It's bleak, and at times utterly horrific.
Ryan bravely faces the true horrors that so many Hollywood films gloss over or ignore. From zombie children to the barbarism of the human race, she explores her post-apocalyptic world with an unflinching eye, but the thread of hope woven throughout the narrative keeps it from becoming entirely depressing.
Like all the best thrillers it starts off gently, events spiralling out of control as the narrative progresses. The writing in the present tense gives the prose the immediacy necessary, putting the reader right in amongst the action, until you are left wondering if you'll ever escape the Forest. I for one forgot that I wasn't in it.
A tense page turner that will have you gripped from the beautiful opening monologue about the ocean. Hopefully the first of many books, zombie related or otherwise, to come from Carrie Ryan. Really great stuff.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
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