"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 about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, 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 by so much death?"
Mary has grown up in the village, since the Return the village has been the only safe place. Inside the fence, away from the Unconsecrated, a village run by the Sisterhood, where marriage is about need for survival and not love, where the world only extends as far as the fence, to the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But Mary has always dreamed of more. Of finding the ocean, beyond the Forest. She wants to marry for love, not because she must. She wants the guy she loves, to love her back.
This was a really good read. It's dark and emotional, and the feelings of desperation and isolation come across very well. It's a lonely, heartfelt story of Mary's struggle to survive. It unfolds slowly with some great twists as Mary discovers the secrets the Sisterhood tried to hide and battles to find a real life for herself. It's a rough ride for Mary and the ones she loves, but it's one I found hard to put down. I don't want to say too much because it would be easy to give things away, and would be far better to just read it. It's a very well written and put together story that I'd really recommend. It would be easy to over do the gore and horror, or shy away from certain aspects too much, but for me I found it a very good balance between the two making it a tense read as you will Mary to succeed.
The only thing I didn't totally like, was the ending. There was a lot left unsaid. I hope that there is some explanation given in the second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves. If not, I'll probably be a little disappointed, but it won't stop me thinking The Forest of Hands and Teeth was a good book. Very good book actually. I like that it wasn't a neatly tied up ending, I just would have liked a little more than there was. Overall, a great book. Read it now! Looking forward to the second one very much! 7/10