Monday, January 31, 2011

REVIEW: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


In Mary's world there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.
The Guardians will protect and serve.
The Unconsecrated will never relent.
And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future-between the one she loves and the one who loves her.

And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

About the Author

Carrie Ryan was born and raised in Greenville, SC and is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now pursues her true passion and writes full time. Although Ryan's 2009 novel, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, is set in a world roamed by the living dead, before meeting her fiance JP she was actually a self-proclaimed "scaredy-cat" who avoided horror movies. JP was the one who convinced her to go to her first zombie movie and opened a whole new world up to her, which is why she dedicated her first book to him. Her second novel, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES, a companion to her first novel, will be out in March 2010. She lives in Charlotte, NC with two fat cats and one large puppy."

Visit her website at

My Thoughts

A village isolated from the rest of the world, and living under the belief that they are the last of mankind. Living behind a fence which protects them from the Unconsecrated (walking dead/zombies), the village is ruled by the Sisterhood. Mary has always been raised with stories of how things used to be-- buildings that touched the sky and salty oceans stretching out as far as the eyes can see. Despite the teachings of the Sisterhood, she still wonders whether there could be anyone else out there. Are the oceans still there? She's drawn to know what is beyond The Forest of Hands and Teeth that surrounds them.

It's taken me so long to finally read this book. It's been a long time coming. So what did I think? Well, first of all, the thing most striking to me was how much this story felt like the movie The Village. Right down to the red vest Gabrielle wore, which reminded me of the "bad color" in The Village.

I enjoyed the story, but it did start out a little slow. I expected it to be more about zombies, but it really wound up being more about Mary and her conflicted feelings and confusion. The zombies...well, their depiction is sort of...detached. They aren't generally described in great detail, and there is little interaction between them and the residents of the village. The zombies are simply a fixture in the everyday lives of the villagers.

Final word- I enjoyed it. It wasn't quite as good as I had hoped (as I was expecting a more traditional zombie story- creepy and scary), but I still enjoyed it and look forward to the sequel.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

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