Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan- Review

Well so far, second day in, Giving me the Creeps October is off to a great spine-tingling start!  Through a totally random set of events (started by a recommendation from Mrs DeRaps reads and ending with stumbling into the book at zellers for 25% off) I started the month with the seriously creepy The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.
Officially kicking off the month with a super good Zombie story!

Mary is 15, and seems relatively normal, until you realize she lives in a fenced in village, surrounded by zombies (the unconsecrated), her father is part of them (probably, they're not sure) and she must walk the fence everyday with her mother looking for him while protecting her mother from getting too carried away and approaching them (which would mean sudden death or zombiefacation).  The village has been there, in these conditions, for so many generations that stories of the Ocean have become akin to mythology and as believable as fairies or leprechauns.
It sounds pretty bad right? Well as any good scary novel will, it gets a whole lot worse.  Between suspicions Mary starts to have about disturbing secrets the Sisterhood is keeping (a thoroughly creepy religious order), and speculations she starts to have about the outside world, things will crumble into truly page turning, fast paced, scary-read worthiness.

I loved this book.  I loved it so much that at 1:30 am as I read the last pages and discovered the bit in the back about the companion book The Dead-Tossed Waves I swear I would have got out of bed, got dressed and ran off to buy it if I had a local 24 hour book store handy.  As it was, if I hadn't received a FedExed Arc the following afternoon (which had a quick deadline attached) I would have raced off to buy it.  I can't get enough!
So I was even more excited to find out this march was going to see the release of a third book in the series, The Dark and Hollow Places!!!! Yay Zombies!!

There was a great love story mixed in, and I say great because it wasn't the typical YA love story.  Everything did not get swept away by love of a boy, in fact it was always going to be secondary to Mary's greater need- to see the Ocean, to know it was real.  And it's tie up was supremely satisfying.

Carrie Ryan was really true to her world, it was grim, there were no easy answers and a LOT of people died.  And I appreciate these things, because nothing is worse then reading a horror story where the author isn't fully committed to the scary.  And high body counts are always satisfyingly scary.  Also characters running around with scythes? Who aren't afraid to use them? That's some good stuff.

I seriously applaud Carrie Ryan for jumping into a genre and doing something which plays by the rules, but is utterly different.  Refreshing.
And now I'm jonesing for more!  Needless to say The Dead-Tossed Waves is definitely in Giving me the Creeps October's future.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan
Published by Delacorte Press, March 2009


  1. I have read and enjoyed the first two , and am eagerly awainting the next!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Sounds utterly creepy and right up my alley!!! I have now added this to my TBR (To Be Read) list. =)

  3. oh it's fun, I have several books to read right now and i'm still contemplating a half hour walk in the rain just so I can pop The Dead Tossed Waves to the top of the list!

  4. Yay! I loved both books, too, and can't wait for the third. If it were available, I drive really, really far to get it. I guess I'll just have to wait. Thanks for sharing your excitement!

  5. If you're driving somewhere for secret third books I'm coming!!!