Friday, June 12, 2009

The Village Meets Dawn of the Dead in Pitch-Perfect Forest

Once upon a time there was a village. A quaint little village nestled in the forest, far away from
city lights and noise. The residents lived simple lives - school, work, marriage, children, death. From the Cathedral in the middle of town, The Sisterhood ruled uncontested. Everyone followed their edicts without question. Well, except for the Unconsecrated. The undead just wouldn't listen.

In The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan's constructed a creepy postapocalyptic world in the form of an idyllic little community surrounded by strong, metal fences. On one side, people go about their daily business; on the other, flesh-hungry zombies clamber to get inside. A bite from one of the creatures means infection, death, and returning to "life" as a mindless zombie. This is the way it is. This is the way it's always been. At least that's what The Sisterhood teaches; thus, that is what everyone believes.

Everyone except Mary, that is. She's heard her mother's stories about the ocean, about buildings that touch the sky - despite what The Sisterhood tells her, she believes there is a world beyond her own. A world that's safe, unmarred by the Unconsecrated. She longs to find the ocean, but there's so much standing in the way - her family; her betrothed; the zombies; the danger; the uncertainty. More and more though, she's questioning what she's been taught and The Sisterhood is not happy about it. When Mary stumbles upon their secrets, her world begins to tilt. When the unthinkable happens, it threatens to fall apart completely. Suddenly, she's on the run, blindly chasing her dreams, dragging loved ones along with her in her desperate search. Relentlessly pursued by the undead, Mary must keep herself alive - somehow. But, what if this really is the end? What if she is the last person on Earth? What if there is no ocean? What if the stories she's been told are only that - fairy tales spun from her mother's imagination? How long can she survive before the Unconsecrated take her, too?

If the story sounds bleak, that's because it is. From its haunting cover to its last sentence, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a dark, intense ride. It's provocative, compelling and just downright shivery. The chilling tone doesn't let up for one second. It's a pitch-perfect, brilliantly executed, absolutely unputtdownable little horror novel. Yes, it's dark; yes, it's intense; yes, it's bleak; yes, you should run out and get it right now.

Grade: A

(Book image from Barnes & Noble)

8 comments:

  1. This sounds really good; great review!

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  2. I agree with everything you said. This is a brilliant book and you gave one great review! Bravo!

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  3. Great review! As always!;) I have had this on my TBR list forever!

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  4. Wow. You've sold me on this book. Will go out and grab a copy soon as I can find one.:)

    Thanks!

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  5. I'm curious about this one.

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  6. Dang, STILL on hold for this one.

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  7. Okay I'm going to add this one to the list because dang, everyone seems to like it.

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