I really loved reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and for the most part, I completely forgot that I was reading in something other than the past tense (for some reason first person throws me off a bit). This is a credit to the author for being able to draw me in so completely that I didn’t mind the written tense for the first time ever! Her writing did what it was supposed to do – it transported me completely into her story-world so that I couldn’t think of anything else but Mary and her story.
So first things first, this novel is a zombie novel. That said, there’s really nothing new here conceptually. 1) Zombies try to get into fence-protected village where non-infected humans try to live a normal life. 2) Zombies get into said villages and kill everyone except main characters. 3) Main characters journey together to find other villages. 4) Zombies attack and kill everyone except main protagonist. 5) Protagonist survives to get to the ocean sans anyone else.
From the beginning this novel made me think of M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Village. Similar concept of a small self-sufficient village living outside of life as we know it, except there are real monsters (zombies or the Unconsecrated) instead of the fake monsters from The Village. It was also reminiscent of the Resident Evil films in terms of the descriptions and behavior of the zombies (clanging on fences surrounding any human communities and their overall appearance).
The writing in this book is amazing. You will read it and not want to put it down because the imagery is so compelling. And it does have a really fabulous title! Honestly, I bought this book just for the title and the cover! Gorgeous! For compelling writing, graphic descriptions/imagery and exciting scenes, I’d give The Forest of Hands and Teeth 4 stars.