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?
I really should’ve titled this post: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan; How to Write a Bestselling Book That–in reality–Sucks. As I was going on Goodreads to get a summary (I don’t always, but sometimes it’s more convenient), I saw that good old Goodreads referenced this book to Jonathan Maberry’s Rot and Ruin–the Benny Imura series.
My reaction: “oh. How…cute.”
Normally, I’m really happy with Goodreads, but I just sat and stared at my screen in spite for a good five minutes this time, shunning Goodreads. How can one of my favorite zombie books end up related…this?
Let me just say that this book wasn’t for me, in case you haven’t already guessed. I was so, so excited to read this though after I read the summary for the first time, and spent two months waiting for it because I was behind a bunch of people in line to get it. After you’ve waited two months for a book that you turn out to seriously dislike, it kind of adds to the hate factor. Just a little bit.
Things I didn’t like about this book:
Plot, characters, POV, main character. There was too much to this book that was predictable to me.
Things I did like about this book: Ideas. Summary. Some of the traits in the zombies. Writing. Suspense. Pacing. Understandable descent into madness.
Just like with Delirium by Lauren Oliver, I think it was the main character that really threw me over the side of the boat. She was textbook, annoying and got to the point where she was willing to do just about anything to simply fulfill her dreams of seeing the ocean before the zombies killed everyone. Yes I do have dreams and yes, I do realize that they’re important, but suddenly you’re finally getting into this story about the zombies and then boom. Hey, everybody, we’re goin’ to the ocean!
Anyway, below are some of my recommendations other than this book.
pg count for the paperback: 310
1) World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Yes, this is the novel behind the much-anticipated movie, World War Z. Yes, yes I know the feeling. I’ve seen it. It’s kind of freaky, but it also gives you a kind of thrill. The ending is awesome, and it was well-made. I thought I would be scared by it, but it turns out after the few initial moments after the movie ended and I thought about it, I actually enjoyed a lot of it. A great movie.
Summary: The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time.World War Z is the result.
Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
pg count for the hardback: 342
2) The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
Summary: An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.
pg count for the paperback: 144
Series: The Walking Dead
3) Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
To see my full review on this book, click here!
Summary: In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn’t want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.
pg count for the hardback: 458
Series: Benny Imura
4) The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
One of the recent titles I read…not exactly a zombie book, but it has that same creepy/cool science fiction quality. Worth a read.
Summary: More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings — merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.
As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing — kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery — one that will change Rithmatics — and their world — forever.
pg count for the hardback: 378
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