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 in so much death?The first thing I have to say about this book is - wow. The story was great, the writing was great, the characters where great.
Mary in particular is such a dynamic character. For her entire life, her world has existed inside the confines of her gated village. Always under the watchful eyes of the Sisterhood and constantly under attack from the Unconsecrated. The word is never used, but these lifeless attackers are essentially zombies. The fact that they are never called zombies only added to the effect this book had on me. It's hard to say too much without giving it all away but if you're a fan of YA dystopian stories, this one is for you.
The world Mary lives in is both surreal and realistic. Her escape after the breach was truly frightening. I found myself holding my breath as I read. The ending itself wasn't a surprise but it also wasn't predictable, which was nice.
I could not put this book down! The sequel - The Dead-Tossed Waves (don't you just love that title!) is due out in 2010. **happy dance**
Young Adult Urban / Dystopian Fantasy
Delacorte Press (www.randomhouse.com/teens)