Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

It's been several generations since the Return, a plague of undead that destroyed the world as we knew it. Mary lives in a village that is surrounded by a fence, the only thing separating their world from that of the Unconsecrated. Beyond the fence is a vast, uncharted land-the Forest of Hands and teeth. In this forest, the turned roam freely. No one has ever left the barrier of this fence. If they dare to leave, or even get too close to the fence, they run the chance of being attacked by the undead. Mary’s father has met this fate, and soon so does her mother.

The village is governed by a religious order called the Sisterhood. The sisterhood controls every aspect of the villagers life, including marriages, births, and they even control the fate of those that are bitten by one of the unconsecrated. In some cases, they are immediately rolled out into the forest. In the case of Mary’s mother, they allow her to stay with her daughter until she Returns.

Mary is constantly dreaming of what the world was like before the Return. Her mother tells her stories of the ocean, a sight unseen by any of the villagers. She has hope of a world beyond the forest, one free from the threat of the Unconsecrated. When there is a breach in the fence, and the village is under the attack of zombies, it is Mary who attempts to explore the possibility of another world, and face the danger of the forest.

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is an intense, haunting tale. In some aspects, it is the journey of self discovery for a teen living in a post apocalyptic world. Readers who assume this is simply a book about zombies and hope for a happy resolution will be disappointed, for it’s much more than that. It forces the reader to evaluate humanity and the world as we know it. Each individual that reads this will have a different perspective, a trait that makes this book even more compelling and enticing. Apparently a sequel is in the works and I impatiently await its release!

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Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan + TIME