When one thinks of a novel about a zombie apocalypse, typically, the picture that comes to mind is a band of gun-strapped survivors hiding in abandoned shopping malls while battling zombies on empty streets.
However, Carrie Ryan's post-apocalyptic dystopia is a far cry from the typical zombie survival story. Sixteen-year-old Mary lives in a small village hidden in the middle of a forest, the Forest of Hands and Teeth. The village is protected by a wall of fences that keep out the Unconsecrated, those who have become zombies, and villagers are not permitted to enter the forest under any circumstances.
Life is a daily struggle to carry on what meager lives the villagers have. An order of religious zealots called the Sisterhood hold absolute power, and they control almost every aspect of village life, all while harboring dark secrets about the past. The Guardians, who maintain the fences and fight the Unconsecrated, serve as enforcers of the Sisterhood’s rule. Mary expects that village life will continue as it always has, until the Unconsecrated manage to breach the fences, forcing Mary and her friends to flee into the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Carrie Ryan blends several elements together to craft a thrilling story about survival, love, secrets, and self-discovery. Each of the survivors is forced to face their fears and desires, while trying to adapt to their desperate circumstances. Filled with plenty of action and twists, this book will keep readers engaged until the last page.