Again, I’m catching up on a monumental amount of reading. Today’s reviews definitely belong in the “I can’t believe I haven’t read that yet!” category. So I’m starting with a book that I’ve been trying to get ahold of for TWO YEARS: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.
PLOT: Mary lives with the last remaining humans in a small community in the center of an endless forest. The Sisterhood guides Mary’s community and keeps them all safe from the countless dead that shuffle mindlessly through the forest outside the fences. However, the more familiar Mary becomes with the Sisterhood, the more she questions everything they’ve ever taught her.
WHY I OWN THIS BOOK (and the two sequels): ZOMBIES! I like my monsters to be scary and unintelligent. Also, I have to admit that the title drew me to this book like a reanimated corpse to brains. And I waited TWO YEARS for many variables to add up to owning this book and you will only pry it out of my COLD, TWITCHING FINGERS. *ahem* There’s a lot of suspense, and many unanswered questions that drew me through all three of the books. The love triangles don’t hurt, either.
NOTES FOR UNFANS OF THE UNDEAD: Trust me when I say that the human element carries these books. These books are about the living, breathing characters. It isn’t all fighting, gore, and zombies.
NOTES FOR FANS OF THE UNDEAD: The zombies here are basically your thoughtless, shambling zombie types…with a couple notable exceptions. Also, it’s a kissing book. Fair warning.
WARNINGS: That much being said, there is gore and several highly emotional, possibly traumatic scenes. The zombies are also fairly relentless, so there’s no guarantee that your favorite character will make it out alive. (Spoiler: your favorite character DIES.)
FINAL WORD: My friend (who normally sticks close to Nicholas Spark books) saw these books and is eagerly waiting to read them herself. I was surprised, too. The protagonists are teenagers, and the romance/gore has to be popular with older teens, but I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone (at any age) prone to nightmares.
Next up: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. The adult fantasy section at the bookstore normally gives me the heebies (except for Pratchett, Adams, Fforde…), so I have to thank the HBO series for generating enough buzz to pique my interest. Since I only have basic cable, this review is definitely only of the book.
PLOT: Well, this could be a dissertation in and of itself, but here goes…there is a kingdom ruled by a man who took the throne through war. He is surrounded by people who are scheming, plotting, and killing in order to take the throne for themselves (including the heirs of the former king). One of the few people not after the throne is Eddard Stark. He wants to stay with his family in the north, but court politics and the king’s request take him south. After murder and murder attempts, the kingdom is on the verge of war. However, the long summer is ending, and winter is bringing old, mythical enemies out of the frozen north…
WHY I OWN THIS BOOK: It’s too long to read at the bookstore and I found that I am not patient enough to wait to find out what happens to the myriad of characters. I don’t regret the purchase because the book is extremely well-written, and I think I’ll need to go back to reference parts of the story as I continue reading the series.
NOTES FOR ANYONE WITH THE FANTASY HEEBIES: If you can handle the level of fantasy elements in Lord of the Rings, you’ll do fine. There’s a few mythical creatures and unusual terms, but the politics, conniving and shenanigans are universally translatable.
NOTES FOR FANTASY FANS: Who am I kidding? You probably own the books, watch the show, and have a picture of yourself on the Iron Throne. Carry on.
WARNINGS: Again, this can take a while. There’s vulgar language, sex, incest, rape, human trafficking, adult situations and gore. Also, a disturbing scene of a young boy breastfeeding. The descriptions are generally low key, but the frequency is…well, just don’t expect to be able to read this around innocent-minded people.
FINAL WORD: It’s a complex story with tons of characters, but it pulls you along quickly while accomplishing the impossible tasks of building believable characters and suspense. I’m not recommending this to any of my teenaged students, but I know lots of adults who love this series.