Friday, 18 March 2011

Guest Review: Lee read the Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 
Published: 10 March 2009
Publisher: Gollancz

Description (from Goodreads):

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?

Now before I post Lee's review, allow me to set the scene. Lee (my boyfriend) came to visit me at uni this weekend just gone, and because I had alot of work to do, he was forced to amuse himself for some of this time. I've been trying to get Lee to read this book for AGES because A) he likes Zombies and B) He *HATES* everything I read, so I wanted the satisfaction of having him actually enjoy a book of mine for once.

So here's his review:

Let me begin this by saying that this is going to seem rather harsh but bare with me; The Forest of Hands and Teeth falls short in many regard’s. Firstly, our heroine, Mary, comes across as a vapid, whining, clueless moron. Her obsession with the object of her affections falls into sometimes eerie and desperately pathetic territories and her meandering thoughts of him often fall into Heathcliff/Edward territories, despite he himself being remarkably bland and as fleshed out as a 2x4. The majority of the character’s I find largely unsympathetic and have as much character development as Bella from the Twilight books (less said the better there though), despite the twists and turns within the plot, the characters meander along steadfastly acting as if nothing has changed, the plot being nothing more than an inconvenience, intruding into their lives. And the introduction of a child into the horror, an exploitative attempt to drag at the readers heart strings, despite the fact the kid barely speaks, has zero personality.

Despite all my criticisms and moanings and rambling, snobbish, high brow, whining, I liked this book. It is as far as I am concerned an interesting and entertaining to Zombie lore. The plot rattles along at a steady and curious pace, starting as a drama, shifting into a mystery and further still into a survival horror, the writing switching to meet all these styles. The drama (though being as teeth grindingly annoying as a nail in the brain) serves it’s purpose and is well written, I have to concede. The mystery drags you in and I found myself increasing my reading pace, to know more. The horror, hands grabbing at Mary out of the dark, the swinging of a scythe, flaming licking at her ankles; these are the moments that make the book worth reading. If you like zombie lore and you can get past the character’s lack of character, this is a book it’s hard not to enjoy, whilst reading and after. It’s a book that sit’s in your brain and you can enjoy just thinking through it and adding your own personal inflection to it.

All in all I give this book

Twelve Difference engines out of a Large Hadron Collider
***Lee wants it pointed out that despite how negative his review may appear, he DID take the sequel home to read, and he does find them compelling. Also, please don't ask about the difference engine thing. He believes giving books a score out of 5 or 10 etc is incredibly futile, and decided to have a dig at me doing this with a silly example :P***


  1. Lee should get his own blog now, i think that would be quite entertaining. Can't imagine him liking dead tossed waves to be honest, less zombie more angst if i remember correctly. Also when did you read it, been waiting for you to read that for ages.

    I couldn't sleep lastnight, appreciated what you sent me tenfold. Cheers again love.

    Also liking the blog, be useful for when you're a famous writer.


  2. Haha I tried to get him to make one, but he won't =[

    Haha, I haven't actually read it yet, I just lent it to Lee :P Haha yeah, or when I'm a famous publisher, as is my back up plan. Hello publishing masters.

  3. Read it. And yeah that would be good, can publish me then :P

  4. lol yeah, I'll do all the hard work for you shall I? :P

  5. Found it!
    I doubt that I could ever get my hubby to read this.

    Has he finished the second one? Should we expect another guest post soon :)

    Jules x


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