Forest of Hands and Teeth

Those of you who enjoy delicious zombies might want to check out this debut by Carrie Ryan, called The Forest of Hands and Teeth.


I would tell you more about it, but I already wrote a signature review for Amazon, which starts like this:

Teenagers love a good apocalypse. Who doesn’t? All those annoying rules suspended. Society’s pretenses made irrelevant. Malls to be looted. School out forever.

But in The Forest and Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan’s marvelous debut novel, the post-apocalypse is defined more by constraints than freedoms. The book begins seven generations after the Return, an undead plague that has ended civilization as we know it. Of course, a zombie outbreak usually means shotguns and mall looting–the very essence of freedom. But more than a century on from the Return, the malls have already been looted, and shotguns are a distant memory. The novel’s heroine, Mary, lives in a village surrounded by one last vestige of industrial technology: a chain-link fence, beyond which is a vast forest full of shambling, eternally ravenous undead–the forest of hands and teeth. No villager ever goes outside this fence, unless they want to die. (And given this bleak scenario, some do.)

Mary’s world is bounded not only by the fence but by the archaic traditions of her people, which are enforced by a religious order called the Sisterhood. Marriages, childbirth, death, every stage of life must be controlled to sustain the village’s precarious existence. Even the houses are circumscribed–literally–with passages of scripture carved into every entrance to remind the inhabitants of the rules that sustain human life amid the horrors of the forest.

After so long an isolation, the village is beginning to forget . . .

Click here to read the rest of my review.

That’s it, except . . . it’s only 13 more days until Extras comes out in paperback. W00t!

147 thoughts on “Forest of Hands and Teeth

  1. what! I loved the magicians nephew!…..its my favourite book.
    the first to books make it so obvious that they’re writen by a christian….I love it

  2. I just found the beginning of the Magician’s Nephew to be a little slow. Plus, I have trouble getting into books based in the past (I loved Silverfin, the first Young James Bond book, but I still haven’t been able to finish Blood Fever). I’m also having trouble getting through the first Amelia Peabody book (by Elizabeth Peters). Has anyone else read that? Even though I haven’t finished it yet, I already know what happens (I wonder if that has anything to do with my trouble finishing it…)

  3. hm?? i dunno… i dunno how all this works. im like completely new so i dunno what to tell you? but I’m a follower on your site!! my real name is Heilala, pronounced hey-LAH-LAH. lol. so maybe I’m on there? my picture’s a flower… that’s what my name is in Tongan and ya… i dunno what to say. lol.

  4. my blogs linked to my name. its not anything big or amazing just random and pointless… lol. i’ll figure something out soon though.

  5. Hmmm…. I can never find books four hundred pages that are like really good it’s really hard. But the last big book I read was like 800 pages long! and it was good. Right now I just like can’t seem to get into Eragon.

  6. Um, guys, like… I don’t know. Something majorly, MAJORLY freaky happend today. REALLY freaky. Beyond words to describe at this late hour. And, I think, beyond this world. Otherworldly. It was just freaky, and I don’t want to talk about it at 11PM, because then I’ll have nightmires; I’m trying to put it behind me for the night… so good night I guess, folks… I’ll tell you everything like tommorrow or something…

  7. Dahlia-wa: For your contest are you supposed to leave a comment?

    Haley-Sensei~Top Ninja: That flash tattoo is uh-mazing! wow.

    I’ve never read the Narnia books, but the movies are awesome! My friend and I think we found Midget Narnia. hahaha (there’s this mini door at the middle school, and all the sixth graders were super short last year so…vwaa-laaa)

    Alex-wa: I’m excited and mildly concerned.

    Everyone have a good (and safe, because apparently you all like to live on the edge..) day!

  8. Also, my name is a link to my friends Maximum Ride go there and she likes comments, so you can post them here and I’ll tell her.

  9. Well, well, I go missing for a month because of test week, project week and dance competition, and I miss out only enough post to count on my ten fingers.

    Zombie book sounds delicious. in a sylar-y kind of way… I might check it out after I finish that mountain of homework and that stack of books in a corner.

    Sad to hear about fires… It always remind me of a series of unfortunate events… which makes me cry.

    So glad to be back here, although, I might have to dissapear again because my mid-year exams are approaching *stress*

    BTW, can someone fill me in about the ninja thing-o. Why ninjas? Why not pirates and such?

  10. Wow, finally decided to comment :L
    That book looks really intersting, time for another trip to the library :L

  11. Jay-wa I’ll have to look into that Maximum Ride stuff. My brother’s enjoyed it, and they’re the ones that got me into Twilight, (crazy I know), which got me reading again. I’ve heard a lot about it, but I never really looked at it. If you don’t like Twilight, click my name. I have review’s, well not really, just my thoughts on other books sort of similar that might change your minds?? lol. I’m just saying… (my blogs random and not anything like Dahlia-wa’s or Haley-senseis)
    Trish-la, it’s a kingdom and you can be whatever you like. I didn’t join because like you, I come and go. Mostly because of school and family things. But if you want to join I’m pretty sure you’ll be accepted as their new pirate leader? I dunno… Ask Alex-wa, Lizzy-wa101102, Dahlia-wa or Haley-sensei… They know.

  12. Jay-wa, there’s a link at the top of my blog (linked on my name) to all the info on the contest. But in short, yes, you have to comment (on the contest post) to enter. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll have to check out the Max Ride fanfic. I’ve been wanting to write one myself, but I have no idea where to post it (I don’t want fanfics on 13 & Co. and it just wouldn’t fit on my personal blog. Maybe I’ll start another blog just for fanfics). ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Yay, someone’s finally going to work on the site!!!! You should post the URL as soon as you have one, that way people can visit it while it’s still being built, and maybe give suggestions here (no super bright font colors, please! They’re kind of hard to read). ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. Thanks, Jay-wa!
    I do that on my hands a lot…half my friends want me to be a tattoo artist, the other half are afraid i have ink poisioning from all that ink on my skin…
    someone’s gonna work on the site? yay!! and I agree, no bright neon colors. they hurt my eyeballs.

  15. aww alex-wa… Thats sad… We have a bunch of pets and sometimes they go but they always come back :] so hopefully your cats just getting some space.

  16. hello again! r we talking about cats? cuz that seems like what we’re talking about, but idk. my aunt has 3cats, i have none cuz my dad’s alergic.

    i have been very busy lately. i have track every monday, wednesday, thursday, saturday, and sunday. i have dance every tuesday and wednesday. and i have hw every night.

    oooohhhh…. i got 1st place on my 100meter dash on sunday!!!! i was sooo happy!

  17. Alex-wa: Maybe put some food out for your kitty.

    Ashley-wa: Good job with the dash!!

    Everyone have a good day!

    (HON is, in fact, amazing)

    : D

  18. kay-la you asked before i could! Lol good remembering.
    lizzy-wa i was always lost on that topic. Today i read the first chpt in marked, which i told myself i would cuz i need to finish the other series im reading but it sounded so good i almost bought it on the spot! Ah! I need to find time to read and the money to buy the books!
    t&z i saw them today and i was going to look at them but i only had time to look at hon.

  19. ooh hope you find you cat
    but I know how you feel
    my cat went missing, I was so worried
    …….dont want to make you worrie but
    mine never came back(kyotye got him)
    how long has it been missing?

  20. Ok guys, I need to go to bed, and I haven’t forgotten about telling ya’ll about the freakiness that occurred a few days ago. It’s a long story, and I haven’t had the time. Tibbit, my missing cat, well… he’s real old, so… he’s been missing since at least Friday. You know, it was Holy Week last week (Now it’s Bright Week, the week after Pascha, or Easter), and it was really crazy at my place. We were very busy, and people were over sorta often, especially Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday was our big party! And the day the freaky thing happend… more on that later… anyways I gotta go to bed, so I’ll hurry up! He’s old, declawed, loosing hearing, nearsighted, and has one tooth left, but otherwise is very healthy! Lol, I know, it seems very likely he’s gone. But, the thing is, we’ve been out searching all over, but have not scented anything, or seen a trace of anything. It’s like he vanished out of thin air! If he died, his body would be stinking by now. So, we’re hoping that someone picked him up… he went missing when the weather turned iky over hear, too, so… it’s just a complete mystery. Oh, one more thing I have to add before I turn in. I GOT HUNTED TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!! I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooo happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hehe. Ok, TTYL guys!

  21. Oh, wow, do I ever talk alot! Dang! I like must’ve flown over the keys on my laptop! Wow, I just type soooo fast sometimes, I guess! Anyways, good night or whatever

  22. wow… that’s what happened to my baby ducks =[ I had like 6 and the next day i had 3. but i think a hawk that flies all over got them :'[ plus i think he got 2/4 of my baby chicks, so i know how you feel… my dog’s like that, except he’s blind. poor kitty… i’m so sorry alex-wa, that’s so sad-making…

  23. Alex-wa: I’m really sorry about your cat, and I hope you find it soon! My friend said Hunted was so good, but is currently dying for the next book! Enjoy!

    Lala-wa: are you the same as lala-wa? Also, hawks=the ultimate source of eviiil.

    Good bye! Everyone have a nice day!

  24. The review was great, Mr. Westerfeld, and I already started reading the first chapter for this — I’m going to B&N right away! Or maybe I’ll just order it online…hm..

  25. i read this book for an English class right after it came out .. AMAZING book i recommend to everyone that they should read it.. totally physicked about the new one coming out next spring … cant wait.

Comments are closed.