Fortnight of Fright | Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Fortnight of Fright

Book Review | The Forest of Hands and Teeth | Carrie Ryan

ZOMBIESSSSSS. I don’t normally do the resurrected dead, so thanks to Debbie from Silk & Serif, we’ve got a book review of exactly that! Thanks for doing us all this solid, Debbie!


Book cover Forest of Hands and Teeth Carrie Ryan

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 in so much death?

So, for the Fortnight of Fright I am choosing a rather contentious title. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is a novel people either love or hate, but still delivers a decent zombie horror with a general aura of creepiness!

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH was extremely depressing. Once I finished reading this novel I wanted to crawl into the corner with a bottle of vodka and cry. I’m not sure what made this so depressing, the narrative voice, all the deaths or the ambiance of a world that’s been completely taken over the “Unconsecrated” and ran by a super-secret sect of fanatical nuns? I don’t know, maybe?  I just know there were plenty of moments where I cried and felt like life was not worth living.

My only complaint? Mary is an extremely weak individual who lets people push her around, treat her like garbage or abuse her and then she forgives them. I don’t know, but I’d be definitely not taking any of the crap her brother and “betrothed” threw at her. I wouldn’t constantly be allowing people to make me feel selfish for being strong and decisive. Yet, there were moments where Mary was incredibly stupid, reckless and selfish which no one called her out on. Instead of self-regulating her behaviour, Mary needed people to point out how her actions hurt other people or she wouldn’t identify her actions as wrong. Her moral compass is completely reliant on other’s chastising her.

However, if you’re looking for a novel with plenty of horror, frightening creatures, and gore, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is definitely the book to read. This novel develops a dark world where all hope is lost, humans have lost all technology and are held captive by the Unconsecrated that live beyond the fences lusting for human flesh. A large portion of the human element of this novel are evil or have ill intent, while the non-human creatures just want to eat you. Ryan writes some great horror and definitely knows how to write realistic emotion into the mix even if the narration is a bit off key. Our female main character that, I’ve got a suspicion, went completely off her rocker by the end of the book. I found this really quite realistic since I’m not sure I’d come out of Mary’s ordeal intact.

The end is perfectly grim, tying up a novel that makes you frightened, horrified, frustrated and depressed while simultaneously keeping you hooked. So, if you are looking for a great Fortnight of Fright read that is filled with a lot of dark elements, THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is recommended.

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