26 August 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now 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 by so much death?

I heard about this book from an author at CONduit, earlier this year, and I'm not sure how to review it. The book was well written—compelling and dark. Mary's voice was haunting, leading me from page to page just to see how bad her life could get next. If I'd known there wasn't a happy ending going into it I may have enjoyed it more, but as it was the story left me wanting to throw the book across the room and slap Mary.

My sister told me once that she can't stand Scarlett from Gone with the Wind because she is so stinking selfish. I've never seen or read it, but if it is anything like this Mary was then I don't think I'm missing out. Mary was selfish and everyone loved her. Not that she wasn't likeable, she was for a while, but casting off everyone she knew and loved for a dream that might be (with a hoard of zombies between the two) and getting her brother killed in the process was too much for me.

I'll stop before I get redundant. The story was well told. I was hooked from the beginning, but instead of a lighter than air feeling it was more like picking at a scab to find a loose corner so you can rip it off, exposing what was underneath. I didn't love what I found, that's all . . .


Antiquarian said...

"it was an itchy scab of a book and it ooozzzed" - Richard Carson.

"After this read I may actually come to enjoy Whuthering Heights" - Robin DeSpain

Or as Kate Elliot once said, "when I have to review a book I didn't like I usually say 'Only this author could have written that book'".

-Jo- said...

No, please, not Whuthering Heights . . .
What about Whuthering Heights and The Creature from the Black Lagoon? I might read that.