Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guest Post! Titania86's Take On:The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Titania86 of Fishmuffins of Doom has kindly accepted my invitation to do a guest review! Titania is one of my favorite bloggers, her reviews are very insightful. So without further ado, I give you Titania's Take On: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.
Mary lives in a post-apocalyptic world, surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth and the horrific Unconsecrated. Everything in her village is controlled by religious zealots called the Sisterhood. Marriage and having children have nothing to do with love and everything to do with continuing the human race. Both of Mary’s parents have become Unconsecrated and her brother will no longer allow her to live in his house. Her only choice is to join the Sisterhood unless a man expresses interest in marrying her. Her dreams are bigger than all of this. She longs to see the ocean her mother told her about, but that no one in her village has ever seen. She has a burning curiosity and a drive to be more than what her village will allow. Will she settle and accept her fate or will she somehow escape?

Carrie Ryan has crafted a completely unique zombie novel. When I think of the zombie apocalypse, I think of the breakdown of society and the government. This book goes past the initial phase with generations of people living with the zombies and creating a new way of life. This setting seems more suited to the medieval era. The oppression of women and the general backwards thinking of the villagers, coupled with religious fundamentalism really angered me. There were so many things that were kept from the villagers by the Sisterhood that I don’t know how they could stand to live like that. Most of the other people there were resigned to their less than satisfying existence in order to survive. The Sisterhood isn’t above leaving people in the forest to be eaten if they make too many waves. Through about the first half of the book, I really wanted to throttle some characters in the book. So many of Mary’s problems could have been solved if she could make her own decisions and decide what she wanted to do with her own life. I’ve read many reviews that complain that Mary is selfish and unlikeable, but I completely disagree. What teenager doesn’t dream of bigger and better things? In her society, it just seems unattainable.

There is no shortage of zombie mayhem in this novel. There are also both slow and fast zombies. The slow zombies are the ones seen in most movies that shuffle about. The fast zombies in the book are a new development, which makes sense because of how long it had been since the initial zombie uprising. Plus, the problems with muscles atrophying are addressed as well. It has always been my complaint with fast moving zombies that there would come a point when the zombie wouldn’t be able to move anymore. These zombies are also unique because of what they represent. In George A. Romero’s movies, they are frequently about the mindless consumerism that is popular in America. These zombies are a symbol for the oppressive social constructs that consume any happiness that Mary and her friends would have had.

I absolutely love The Forest of Hands and Teeth. A zombie fan might find the first half of the book slow, but the second half totally makes up for it. I was engaged for the entire novel, on the edge of my seat for most of it. I would recommend this to any zombie fan.   

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Thanks, Titania for stopping by! It's been a pleasure to have you. :)
Happy, reading!


YA Vampire Books said...

Sounds really interesting! Lol I love that you rate in fishmuffins :P

vvb32 reads said...

cool. i like titania's take on this. "These zombies are a symbol for the oppressive social constructs that consume any happiness that Mary and her friends would have had." i hadn't thought of it this way before.

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