Thursday, May 28, 2009

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?

I was actually pretty surprised by this book. I'd never read anything set in a post-apocalyptic world so I didn't quite know what to expect. I'd also never read anything with zombies (in this case they're called the Unconsecrated) so I was double blind going in. I soon found out that I enjoyed reading about both these elements.

I was very intrigued by the society that Mary lived in. I was just as eager as Mary to learn the secrets of the Sisterhood. It seemed like there were always more secrets to be uncovered and more Unconsecrated just lurking around the corner. The mysterious and action-packed plot kept me interested from the beginning.

Mary was an interesting character to read about. She didn't just accept everything she was told unconditionally. She questioned her society and its leaders. I think this was what made her appealing to me.

Aside from all the mystery, suspense, and the constant fear of the Unconsecrated, there was even some romance mixed in. Mary is supposed to marry Harry but she's really in love with his brother Travis. This makes for lots of complications, confusion, and ultimately heartbreak.

The ending was just perfect. I can't think of a better way to tie things up than what happened in the story.

Overall, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was an interesting, thought-provoking read. It was an impressive debut for Carrie Ryan. I am eagerly awaiting the release of its companion novel, The Dead-Tossed Waves.

5 out of 5 stars


  1. I have heard so many different things about this book. Some say that it is amazing and others say they hated it. I guess I will have to find out for myself. Great review!

  2. good review! i had mixed feelings after i read it. but as i think about the story more and read reviews like yours the story grows on me in a more positive way.

  3. Such a good book!

    and review! :)

  4. I think I need to get my hands on a copy of this! Yeah, I do.