Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1
Source: Random Buzzers
The Unconsecrated, the zombies, have always been apart of Mary's life. They're always outside the fences that protect her village, trying to get in. Meanwhile, Mary dreams of getting out and of seeing the ocean. But as if the Unconsecrated didn't complicate things enough, there's Travis, the boy she loves who is engaged to her best friend. Not to mention her family, which seems to fall apart more and more with each passing day. Life in the village sometimes seems to be just as hard as life would be in the Forest.
Honestly, I expected to love this one and I'm genuinely disappointed that I didn't. It wasn't the writing that was the problem, it was just, well, everything else.
To begin with, Mary is a passive character if I've ever seen one. Unless some outside forces make her do something (join the Sisterhood, for example), she really doesn't do anything. Or if she does attempt to take action, she nearly has a mental breakdown. I can understand that she's been through a lot as of late, but instead of confronting the problems, she retreats farther and farther into this shell. And when there are zombies that could at any point attack your village, that's really not what you should do.
And it wasn't just Mary: I didn't have a connection with any of the characters. (Well, that's not true. I quite liked the dog.) Try as I might, I didn't care what happened to any of them. Mild Spoiler In one scene, a significant character dies and all I could feel was boredom. And I'm a crier. End Spoiler. It could matter less if Travis and Mary got together because I didn't see why they liked each other. The reader hardly gets to read about Travis and as for why he likes Mary, I have no idea. The whole romantic arc frustrated me.
And then there's the world-building. There are these fences that are supposed to keep the villagers safe from the zombies. But apparently, if there's a breach and zombies take over the village, the Unconsecrated will magically become trapped in there and won't be able to leave the same way they came in. I mean, really the whole layout just doesn't make sense.
In-keeping with world-building, the zombies fell short, too. There's a virus, they try to spread the virus/eat the healthy, they're seemingly unstoppable... It's nothing new. There are no twists. Maybe in the companion novels, the reader will get to find out more about the Sisterhood and the virus, but as far as the first book goes, I'm unimpressed.
*2.5 stars*Zombie Books I'd Recommend: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
What are some of your favorite zombie novels?