The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

2008
10.15



In the Forest of Hands and Teeth, you never stray too near the fence. You learn to tune out the endless moans and cries. And when darkness comes, your sleep is dreamless, because no nightmare compares to what constantly rattles and claws at the all-too vulnerable border between your village and the silent trees. Mary can’t remember a time she didn’t live with the presence of the Unconsecrated: dead bodies propelled by a savage appetite for human flesh that push against the fence surrounding her village day and night. Her people live in the shadow of the Cathedral and the Sisterhood, obeying the Sisters who enforce God’s laws and praying one prayer over and over: “Please, Lord, let the fence hold.” Despite the obvious dangers, Mary dreams of the world that must exist outside the Forest of Hands and Teeth, and of the salty ocean that her mother told her about but that her neighbors insist is just a myth. She has despaired of ever quelling the longing in her chest for freedom that often feels as desperate as the ragged need of the Unconsecrated.  Then a stranger comes to the village, from the fenced-in path that the Sisterhood has forbidden anyone to explore. Her mysterious presence sets in motion a chain of events that catapult Mary far beyond the borders of her tiny village into an uncertain future fraught with fear and death. Let me tell ya something, friends, it’s pretty freakin’ creepy to read an entire book about zombies without ever seeing the word mentioned. The strength of Carrie Ryan‘s walking dead debut is the menacing mood it strikes–I could feel those cold, clammy fingers brushing my neck by novel’s end. But I was left with more questions than answers by the time I turned the last page, and frustrated by the clues Mary found of modern life gone wrong and the potential corrupt nature of the Sisterhood that were dropped and not picked up again. Man, I hope there’s a sequel–otherwise I’m gonna be as unsatisfied as the Unconsecrated! Tired of the same old vampires and werewolves? Then take a lurch on the wild side with Ryan’s disturb-arific zombies as soon as they start staggering into the nearest library or bookstore…

15 Responses to “The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan”

  1. Ink Mage says:

    The title of this book was interesting to me, but I never knew the plot before. It sounds really creepy and fascinating! Thanks for the review.

  2. Saundra says:

    I thought this book was *a-may-zing* and I am so hoping for a sequel too. How sad, jonesing for a sequel before the first installment is even out in hardback! :D

  3. SusieQ says:

    It’s cool that it’s creepy, but I don’t go for books like that, I will stay with the Twilight Series!

  4. Jen Hubert says:

    SusieQ, you would be surprised at how much Twilight and FHT have in common–a love triangle, endless angst, and some serious fight scenes. Try it, you might like it!

  5. lisa says:

    I can’t wait! As if the title weren’t enough to sell me…seriously.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Hopefully there will be a second installment, because the first was not enough to sate my appetite for a well-written zombie book. A must read for zombie lovers!

  7. Christine says:

    Just read an ARC of this, and it’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Ugh. I can’t get enough of it. It really does need a sequel though. And it’s a million times better than Twilight!

  8. Danielle says:

    I LOVE TRAVIS!!!

  9. Christiane says:

    They are actually making a movie about this! Isn’t that exciting?!
    Loved the book soo much! Such a good read.
    A sequel would be so great.

  10. Jessica says:

    THEY’RE MAKING A MOVIE?
    wow.
    I couldn’t put this book down and the whole zombie apocalypse concept was stuck in my head for days. It was really different from what I usually read, but i definitely enjoyed it and i REALLY hope theres a sequel.

  11. Chris says:

    Just to let everybody know there actually is going to be a sequel coming out in 2010 called the Dead Tossed Waves. She’s currently working on it right now. This info is all from Twitter and her web site. If you wish to follow her : @carrieryan.

  12. Jen Hubert says:

    Thanks for the info, Chris! I’m looking forward to the sequel.

  13. Jen Hubert says:

    Jessica, I could totally see this as a movie–especially the village platforms. It will be interesting to see how the story is interpreted on film!

  14. Marivevles says:

    Any book about zombie or a village is it for me and ,do they really never say zombie? Gosh I just shuddered you live with them but you don’t call them that… SCARY.

  15. AbbyM_skittles says:

    what the heck happened to harry cass and jacob? it never says if they were infected or if they just died from staying out there. I would like to know what happened to them.

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