Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan

My first zombie book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, was everything I wanted in a zombie book. I could not put this down after page one. The world-building that Ryan did was vivid, mesmerizing, depressing, riveting, and dangerous!

The village is surrounded by a fence, because the forest around them is infested with the Unconsecrated (i.e. zombies.) These are your classic zombies that crave human flesh, and are pretty much indestructible unless you behead them. The community is governed by the Sisterhood, basically a convent of nuns that guard secrets about the outside world and the history of how society ended up this way. They have convinced everyone that this village is the last of human civilization, and rule with much fear and distrust.

But our main character, Mary, cannot believe this. She longs to see the ocean, which her mother has told her stories of many times. Things don't go well for Mary in many ways. She loses her mother and father, is disowned by her brother, and she has no one to marry.  So she ends up in the Sisterhood, a place that she does not want to be. After much misery, Harry asks her to marry him, so she can finally leave the Sisterhood. But… Mary is in love with his brother, Travis.

Never fear, though, things are going to get a lot worse. The fence gets breached, and Mary and her friends, including Harry, Travis, and her brother, are on the run from the Unconsecrated.  This story just doesn’t stop. Every time you think “OK, now this is good, they are going to be safe,” something horrible happens to change everything. It’s hard to catch your breath.

I really liked all the characters. Ryan makes you care about all of them, even with their faults. Their reactions to disaster are believable from people who are under this much pressure constantly. The end brings some sadness, some safety, and still a lot of questions to be answered. I’m going to have to grab The Dead-Tossed Waves soon.

I can't believe I waited so long to read this one! I would recommend this to anyone who likes an adventure featuring paranormal creatures, in particular zombies.  You won’t be disappointed.

Please give me some recommendations of other zombie books I might like. I think I need more!

Published by Delacorte, 2009
Copy obtained from the library
308 pages


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  1. Well, definitely read the second one The Dead Tossed Waves and the third one is out soon.

    I'm about to read on called Brains: A Zombie I'll let you know if that's any good.

  2. I'm so glad you loved this one, Annette, because these books are some of my very favorites! I don't know how Carrie Ryan manages to make them depressing and fun at the same time! For zombie books: I second the Dead-tossed Waves. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is really funny, if extremely corny, and I love Zombies vs Unicorns. Have fun reading up for the zombie apocalypse! :)

  3. It's so very good, huh?! And, I hope you love The Dead-Tossed Waves...I loved it just as much (if not more) than the first. I can't wait to read book #3!

  4. I loved this book too! You should read this second book because it's even better! I can't wait for the third:) Great review!

  5. I was surprised by how much I liked this book. I think Ryan's writing is fantastic. The romance isn't too cheesy, the zombies are insane and really work to drive the plot. I loved it. Haven't read the next book yet but need to! I just finished P&P and Zombies. It's more of a comedy than horror. It was ok - just not my thing.


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