Thursday, December 17, 2009

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The hands and teeth in this fast paced horror story are zombies ever reaching for living flesh to gnaw on. The battle of the living against the zombies has been going on for quite some time and seems to be a losing battle. Zombies carry a virus that causes anyone who is bitten to turn upon their inevitable deaths. Animals are not affected but not used to help guard the small community. Zombies breach a poorly constructed fence and attack a small village where the people believe themselves to the last living beings. A small group of Six manage to escape down a path they discovered quite by chance. They are friends who have grown up together and a lone small child. Two girls and two of the young men expected to be married until the breach. None are betrothed to their true loves which creates romantic tension and a little depth to an otherwise simple horror story. They come upon a deserted village built in trees the zombies cannot climb. They one of their group chooses to go on in hope of finding a other surviving people. Not really trusting this natural leader, the others stay behind to face whatever fate awaits them. There is lots of exciting action and uncertainty. It held my attention. But, I am sorry I was bothered by hints of secrets kept and never fully explained. I was bothered by the poorly built defenses. If zombies avoid water, why were there not moats. And, why when some folks turn were their heads cut off permanently destroying them while others were set loose in the forest with the other zombies to come back and prey on the village? There is to be a sequel, perhaps how the virus got started, why no cure was ever found and other questions will be answered?
JDW 12/17/09

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