The forest of hands & teeth by

11 April 2010

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Read for the Once Upon a Time Reading Challenge

The forest of hands & teeth by Carrie Ryan

The forest of hands & teeth by Carrie Ryan

LibraryThing ; Author’s blog

My mother used to tell my about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away.

I think that one of the main reasons I picked this book up was because of that title; The forest of hands & teeth it just seems so evocative somehow. And the blurb itself sounded vaguely interesting; “In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent.”

The world Mary lives in is a village in the middle of a forest. It is isolated and cut off from the rest of the world. Surrounded by a fence that keeps people safe inside, and the unconsecrated outside. Villagers are trained from birth to be aware of the Unconsecrated ones, to not go too close to the fence, to know that if bitten and infected they face one choice; to be killed or to be left outside the village to join the rest of the unconsecrated. They know that they are all that are left of humanity. That only by serving God will they be kept safe from this punishment.

But Mary’s mother told her stories of before The Return and the unconsecrated. Of the ocean. And when, her mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated and she is forced into living with the sisterhood she begins to realise that not everything the Sisters say is true. That they have secrets.

I really wanted to like this book. Maybe simply because I like the title and the cover. *shrug* But somehow it just didn’t do it for me. I’ve had enough of the threesome love triangle in YA books. I never saw all that much in Travis to make me understand why Mary seemed to love him so much. Of course we didn’t really see enough in any of the other characters to really get them. That’s the problem with a lot of first person narration, other characters just don’t feel as real.

And while I’m at it, I never really liked Mary. She is very well written, and very believable. But she is very much a whiny teen. Selfish, well, that’s a bit harsh, self-obsessed would be more accurate I suppose. Like most teenagers.

Also while I think the book did really well in describing the action it merely hinted at a lot of things. Maybe they’ll be revealed in the sequel, or the third book in this series, I don’t know, but it felt sort of half-written. Half-developed would be more accurate I suppose.

But I do get the feeling that I’ll be reading that sequel, so it can’t have been all bad I suppose :)

Other reviews: Beauty is a sleeping cat ; Life after Jane ; Reversing the monotony ; S. Krishna’s Books

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14 Responses

  1. Aye.Me? says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with what you've said! I, too, will read the sequel… I'm hopeful there will be more revealed about the world.

    Thank you so much for linking my review, I'm honoured!

    • Fence says:

      You are more than welcome. I always like to link to other reviews, doesn't matter if they agree with me or not, I think it makes for more interesting conversations :)

  2. Yeah, the love triangle element was a bit generic, but I'll admit it got to me. She could have thrown in some strange alien bat character to want Mary and I would have bought it if due only to the writing.

    Thanks for the link!

    • Fence says:

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I agree the writing was good, especially the action scenes and the sense of danger everywhere, so it sorta annoyed me all the more that this part didn't feel as good as the rest of the book.

  3. Memory says:

    I had much the same reaction to this one, but I get the feeling you liked it a little more than I did. I doubt I'll be picking up the sequel.

  4. Kailana says:

    I am sorry to hear this book disappointed you. For some reason this book struck a cord with me when I read it last year. I just read the sequel and didn't like it as much, so I am worried it was just a mood thing. I am always worried about that.

  5. She says:

    I agree 100%.

  6. Fence says:

    Perhaps. It's funny, rereading the review I seem to be all about the negatives, yet in reality I did quite like the book. I just didn't love it.

  7. Fence says:

    It only disappointed because for some reason I had figured that I would love it. I'm not sure where exactly I picked that idea up from though ;)

  8. Caroline says:

    I must have missed this review.

    I thought the characters were a bit flat, at least I didn't really see the differnce between Harry and Travis but I liked the atmosphere and the descriptions a lot.

    I've never read a zombie novel before and found it quite unusual.

    I link to your post as well.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2010)

    • Fence says:

      It was almost 2 years ago :)

      I did like the fact that it was after the end of the world, not in the middle of the downfall. But for a really good zombie read I have to say that I much prefered Mira Grant's Feed series.

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