Surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth, Mary's small world is defined by the Unconsecrated, whose terrible moans fill the air day and night, and whose broken hands tear at the fence surrounding her village, constantly seeking human flesh. Still, Mary dreams of a place beyond the fence where she can be free, though the unused gate and onto the forbidden fenced, narrow path that leads into the Forest. Though they have been told by the Sisterhood that there is nothing beyond the fence but more Forest and the legions of Unconsecrated, Mary knows there must be something more.
The only thing standing between Mary's small village and the rest of the world, the Sisterhood rules over the villagers with an iron fist and ensure that the fence is maintained and the villagers kept away from the teeth of the Unconsecrated. Orphaned after her mother is attacked, Mary is forced to join the Sisterhood. Once initiated, however, Mary begins to uncover dark secrets about the villagers' so-called guardians, the Sisterhood may hold the key to understanding why the Unconsecrated Return and the knowledge of what lies Outside the fence. When a mysterious outsider, Gabrielle, appears in the Cathedral, Mary knows that there must be more on the Outside than the Sisterhood has revealed, especially when the mysterious girl is kept hidden away. But when the fence is breached and the Unconsecrated swarm through the village, Mary finds herself and a small group of villagers, including the boy she loves (and his fiancee, who happens to be Mary's best friend), on the other side of the gate. Will she have the strength to lead them into the Outside? Or will they be doomed to wander the fenced paths of the Forest of Hands and Teeth, always inches from the teeth of the Unconsecrated?
I have never read a zombie book creepier than this one. The Unconsecrated are everywhere in this book, always looming up out of the darkness and the fog of the Forest of Hands and Teeth, eternally hunting Mary and her small band of refugees. You won't want to put this one down, and when you do, you'll definately find yourself staying away from the woods (and fences). The Forest of Hands and Teeth totally freaked me out, so if you want something that'll make your skin crawl, check this one out @ the library!
(who can't wait to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith!)
P.S. According to Carrie Ryan's website, she's working on another story set in the same post-apocalyptic world as this one, which I'm super-excited about, because this one left a LOT of unanswered questions and loose threads dangling like zombie eyeballs!