Review: The Forest of Hands and Teethand The Dead-Tossed Waves

Posted 28 April, 2010 by Danny in / 20 Comments

The Forest of Hands And Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2009
Links: Goodreads, Amazon (available as Kindle edition)
Purchased by reviewer

Description

In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Review

I’m not a zombie fan. There, I’ve said it. It’s because they scare the buh-jebus out of me. I’m such a weakling, I can’t watch scary moves and let’s face it, zombie movies are scary movies. But when some of my other book-bloggy-twitter friends mentioned that Carrie Ryan, on of the authors on the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour, would be doing a book signing in the area, I thought I’d come and hear her reading, and maybe pick up a signed copy of her book to give away on the blog. Boy, am I glad I did.

This book is incredible. And far less what I would have considered a zombie book than a dystopian thriller. Mary’s life is hard and bleak. Living as she does in her isolated village, controlled as she and her fellow villagers are by the all-powerful, secretive Sisterhood, she understandably longs for the places in her mother’s stories of life before the Return. But longing for a life different than that which the Sisterhood wishes is not a smart thing, as Mary finds out.

At every turn, Mary is thwarted. She loses family, love and security. And as I raced through her tale of stubborn survival, I found myself not only cheering for her but identifying with her. She was too intellectually curious to just swallow the teachings of the Sisterhood when they didn’t mesh with reality. She was too stubborn to accept that there was nothing left of the outside world besides the Unconsecrated that constantly needed to be beaten back. She knew, deep in her bones that there must be more, and she believed enough in herself to find it.

At it’s heart, this book is sad. In the world Carrie Ryan created, there’s not much room for hope and happily-ever-afters. But it’s both emotionally raw and real and I enjoyed it immensely.

The Dead-Tossed Waves

Author: Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2010
Links: Goodreads, Amazon (available as Kindle edition)
Purchased by reviewer

Description

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

Review

As much as I enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I absolutely ADORED this book. Mary is a strong character, fired in the crucible of her village and her trials in the forest beyond it. But that isn’t the life she wants for her daughter, Gabry. So Gabry grows up as a normal girl; as normal as a girl can be in the World after the Return. But when life forces her away from the safety of her home and into the world beyond, she’s not nearly as self assured as she thinks her mother would be. And I liked this about her.

Gabry’s fears make her so very human, and as she finds out more about her past and the horrors of the world around her, it is her vulnerabilities that not only highlight her humanity but make the reader identify with her.

And the mystery aspect of The Dead-Tossed Waves was fantastic!! So many questions are left, you’ll be dying for the next installment. I know I certainly am.

Bottom Line

These books are amazing. I fully believe you will love every second you spend in the world that Carrie Ryan has created. And that you will be so very thankful when the book is over and you realize that you DON’T live in her world. *wink*

I’m giving them 5 out of 5 books.

Final Notes

There is a third installment planned for this series, Dark and Hollow Places, which is scheduled to come out in Spring of 2011 and will be in the voice of a female character mentioned in The Dead-Tossed Waves. I’m dying to find out just who that is! [Note: Thanks to Stacy from Page Turners who helped me remember that nugget of info from the book signing!]

Also, to help pass the time until next Spring, Carrie will have three short stories published in anthologies this year, all of which deal with some portion of life in the World after the Return. You can read about all three stories, which sound AMAZING, here.

Finally, as is so popular with great YA books these days, Ms. Ryan has sold the movie rights to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. And that’s a zombie movie I would go see.

Now go and get lost…in a book!

Obsessive Reader by Night – Scientist at Day!
You can also find me on goodreads. I’d love to get to know you so, don’t be shy and say Hello!

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20 Responses to “Review: The Forest of Hands and Teethand The Dead-Tossed Waves”

  1. Mrs. Vanquish

    I think I told you already that whenever I heard about this book I was somehow grossed out by the thought of the Zombies *shiver*. I'm also not a fan of Zombies, since I also freaked out at those kind of movies. I won't watch them because I know I can't sleep when I do. ( yes, I'm 31 and scared like shit about those kind of movies) But, I totally trust your opinion and I know you don't easily give 5 books, so Yes, I will read it thanks to you! Great Review, like usual! *hugs*

  2. Mrs. Vanquish

    I think I told you already that whenever I heard about this book I was somehow grossed out by the thought of the Zombies *shiver*. I'm also not a fan of Zombies, since I also freaked out at those kind of movies. I won't watch them because I know I can't sleep when I do. ( yes, I'm 31 and scared like shit about those kind of movies)

    But, I totally trust your opinion and I know you don't easily give 5 books, so Yes, I will read it thanks to you!

    Great Review, like usual! *hugs*

  3. Emily

    I'm glad to see you enjoyed the second book so much. I read the first one a while back and absolutely fell in love with it. And I've started the second book in the last day or so – so far, I'm loving it! Nice reviews!

  4. Emily

    I'm glad to see you enjoyed the second book so much. I read the first one a while back and absolutely fell in love with it. And I've started the second book in the last day or so – so far, I'm loving it! Nice reviews!

  5. Missie

    WOW! Great review! I'm spooked! I was wondering if I should give these books a try, but now I'm completely convinced that I should. Now my only question is if I should get them as hard copies or enjoy them on my Kindle. I love to have a good series on hard copy, but is this one worth it? And thanks for the movie link, too! Very exciting!I love all things zombie! They make me giddy! Try Zombieland! I promise, it is hilarious!

  6. Missie

    WOW! Great review! I'm spooked! I was wondering if I should give these books a try, but now I'm completely convinced that I should. Now my only question is if I should get them as hard copies or enjoy them on my Kindle. I love to have a good series on hard copy, but is this one worth it?

    And thanks for the movie link, too! Very exciting!

    I love all things zombie! They make me giddy! Try Zombieland! I promise, it is hilarious!

  7. One Pushy Fox

    @Mrs V. – Thanks! Yes, I know I can be stingy when it comes to the books, but I really think a 5 should be a book that knocked my socks off and these did. Big time!@Emily – glad you're enjoying the reviews!!!@Missie – Personally I would buy the hard copy. But I don't own a eReader, for what it's worth. Bottom line, however you get these stories into your hands, just do it. You won't regret it, they're FANTASTIC!!! And if you promise me Zombieland won't give me nightmares (I am a COMPLETE wuss), I'll Netflix it. 🙂

  8. One Pushy Fox

    @Mrs V. – Thanks! Yes, I know I can be stingy when it comes to the books, but I really think a 5 should be a book that knocked my socks off and these did. Big time!

    @Emily – glad you're enjoying the reviews!!!

    @Missie – Personally I would buy the hard copy. But I don't own a eReader, for what it's worth. Bottom line, however you get these stories into your hands, just do it. You won't regret it, they're FANTASTIC!!! And if you promise me Zombieland won't give me nightmares (I am a COMPLETE wuss), I'll Netflix it. 🙂

  9. Missie

    Thanks Fox! Although I'm tempted to have these books right away, I'm loving the cover art so I'm gonna buy them hard copy! And Zombieland has some gross blood and guts kind of stuff, but it is ROTFLMAO funny! If you don't like it, I'll take full responsibility.

  10. Missie

    Thanks Fox! Although I'm tempted to have these books right away, I'm loving the cover art so I'm gonna buy them hard copy!

    And Zombieland has some gross blood and guts kind of stuff, but it is ROTFLMAO funny! If you don't like it, I'll take full responsibility.

  11. Mrs. Vanquish

    Surprisingly, I also love those covers! I think it's the girls eye. I don't know. Normally I don't like people in covers, but those here just have atmosphere! and maybe @Missie: I might also give Zombieland a try…

  12. Mrs. Vanquish

    Surprisingly, I also love those covers! I think it's the girls eye. I don't know. Normally I don't like people in covers, but those here just have atmosphere!

    and maybe @Missie: I might also give Zombieland a try…

  13. Robin Eduardo

    Thanks to your recommendation I purchased a copy of the first book yesterday and I'm going to give it a try. I'm a fan of zombies and a writer myself, so will be checking it out with a critical eye. But considering I dig Twilight, I'm sure I'll get into this series as well. I never thought I could enjoy YA but I guess I just needed a nudge. Thank you!

  14. Robin Eduardo

    Thanks to your recommendation I purchased a copy of the first book yesterday and I'm going to give it a try. I'm a fan of zombies and a writer myself, so will be checking it out with a critical eye. But considering I dig Twilight, I'm sure I'll get into this series as well. I never thought I could enjoy YA but I guess I just needed a nudge. Thank you!

  15. One Pushy Fox

    Ok @Missie, Zombieland is up next in my Netflix cue, be prepared to hear from me once I've watched it!@Robin, I'm so glad you're taking a chance based on my review. Please comment again after you've read it so I can hear what you thought of it!! And I admit that I too was reluctant to delve into MG/YA but Harry Pottter broke me down, then Twilight introduced me to the Bookworms who are all intelligent, articulate, lovely women and well, the rest, as they say, is history.

  16. One Pushy Fox

    Ok @Missie, Zombieland is up next in my Netflix cue, be prepared to hear from me once I've watched it!

    @Robin, I'm so glad you're taking a chance based on my review. Please comment again after you've read it so I can hear what you thought of it!! And I admit that I too was reluctant to delve into MG/YA but Harry Pottter broke me down, then Twilight introduced me to the Bookworms who are all intelligent, articulate, lovely women and well, the rest, as they say, is history.

  17. Katie Edwards

    Zombies do nothing for me at all, but I must say these books are begging me to read them. The blurbs do make them sound more like dystopian fiction, as you said, than zombie books.

  18. Katie Edwards

    Zombies do nothing for me at all, but I must say these books are begging me to read them. The blurbs do make them sound more like dystopian fiction, as you said, than zombie books.

  19. One Pushy Fox

    @Katie Edwards…Please, please, please give the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a try. It's SO good and it really is more the story of a girl coming to terms with herself and her world than of zombies.

  20. One Pushy Fox

    @Katie Edwards…Please, please, please give the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a try. It's SO good and it really is more the story of a girl coming to terms with herself and her world than of zombies.

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