Publishers Weekly Mary's village has been trapped for generations by a very near, very visible menace: the Unconsecrated-insatiable, flesh-eating zombies that constantly tear at the village's fences. Yet the Sisterhood-a conventlike order of religious women charged to protect the village's survival-is as much responsible for the submission of Mary's village as the Unconsecrated. When the fences are breached and the village overrun, Mary and several others escape through gated paths and arrive deep into the Forest of Hands and Teeth, forced to search beyond it for their future. Mary's observant, careful narration pulls readers into a bleak but gripping story of survival and the endless capacity of humanity to persevere. That Mary maintains emotional distance serves to render her yearnings and romantic feelings even more poignant and powerful. Fresh and riveting. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Starred Review. Gr 9 Up-Mary knows little about the past and why the world now contains two types of people: those in her village and the undead outside the fence, who prey upon the flesh of the living. The Sisters protect their village and provide for the continuance of the human race. After her mother is bitten and joins the Unconsecrated, Mary is sent to the Sisters to be prepared for marriage to her friend Harry. But then the fences are breached and the life she has known is gone forever. Mary; Harry; Travis, whom Mary loves but who is betrothed to her best friend; her brother and his wife; and an orphaned boy set out into the unknown to search for safety, answers to their questions, and a reason to go on living. In this sci-fi/horror novel, the suspense that Ryan has created from the very first page on entices and tempts readers so that putting the book down is not an option. The author skillfully conceals and reveals just enough information to pique curiosity while also maintaining an atmosphere of creepiness that is expected in a zombie story. Some of the descriptions of death and mutilation of both the Unconsecrated and the living are graphic. The story is riveting, even though it leaves a lot of questions to be explained in the sequel.-Debra Banna, Sharon Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list Mary lives in a small village in the middle of the forest governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated a horde of the undead unleashed many generations ago by a mysterious and cataclysmic event. Life is simple but preordained; Mary fears her betrothal to a man she doesn't love almost as much as the hungry jaws slavering at the fence links. Under the colonial trappings, this is a full-blooded zombie thriller, reminiscent of the paragon of the genre, George Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Soon Mary and a small band of desperate survivors are thrown together to outwit the undead and work through their own weaknesses, suspicions, and jealousies. Ryan's vision is bleak but not overly gory; her entry in the zombie canon stands out for how well she integrates romance with flesh-eating. The plot loses a little wind near the conclusion, but Ryan's ability to write a nail-biting escape scene will keep most readers riveted.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2009 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.