“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?”
When I picked up this book, I had no idea it was going to be a zombie-story. Ever since I suffered my way through the first Resident Evil movie, I have had horrible prejudices towards anything involving zombies. In my experience, zombie books have always been about people that I didn’t really like much, screaming and running around and getting eaten, and I have usually been on Team Zombie for as long as I could stand to keep reading. Had someone told me this was a zombie-thing, I probably wouldn’t have bothered.
So I’m glad nobody said anything, because I quite enjoyed the book.
This might have something to do with the fact that although the book is full of walking, hungry corpses, they are not the most interesting characters in the story. I have read several reviewers say they didn’t like Mary. I disagree. I think Mary did her best, with the cards handed to her. I also think that she displayed major cahones every now and then. Her brother, Jed, had his moments of being the worlds biggest *insert very bad word here*, but always seemed to make up for it in the end. There’s even a lovable dog (and it doesn’t get killed!)
All in all, the book deals with the relationships between Mary and these people that she has grown up with, after they are forced to escape their peaceful village when the zombies break through the security fence that surrounds it. Although their relationships undergo great changes, there isn’t really a lot of character development. I think I would have enjoyed the story more if Mary had undergone some more personal growth. There was potential there that wasn’t really taken advantage of. I’m still not sure what I thought of the ending. It came on very, very suddenly. Then again, this is a series, so hopefully that won’t matter so much once I get cracking on the sequel.