Read for the Once Upon a Time Reading ChallengeLibraryThing ; 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 :)