Released: March 2009
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal - Zombie
Mary lives in a world unlike ours. She knows the rules - that the Sisterhood knows best, the Guardians will always protect and serve, and that the Unconsecrated will never relent. Still she can't stop herself from believing that that beyond the fence that separates her village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth, the stories her mother has told her about the ocean and what life was like before the Return are true.
Mary's life would be much more simpler if she didn't believe those stories. Or if she would follow the rules and not question everything she has been told. Things would also be easier if she wasn't put between two boys - one she loves and one she doesn't.
You know that saying, be careful what you wish for? Mary curiosity soon becomes a reality when the fences are breached and the Unconsecrated take over. Now Mary and the other must face what is beyond their village. Is there life? Or is there only death?
Carrie Ryan delivered an excellent thriller. I have never read a zombie book before and by the middle of the story I was completely hooked. There were a few things I questioned in the beginning. What was the appeal to Mary? At first I didn't really get what Travis and Harry saw in her because I found some of her actions selfish. By the end I became protective over her in a way. I think what draws you to her is that in the world that she lives in, she still has hope. She still has faith, and if I was living in what remained of a Zombie Apocalypse, I think I would want to have the same dream she did. This book did not turn out how I thought it would be, but that's not a bad thing either. I like being surprised. There were parts where I was holding my breath, looking a little bug eyed, and not being able to read fast enough to find out what happened next.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I am very much looking forward to being answered (or hopefully answered) in the next book, The Dead-Tossed Waves. Unfortunately it doesn't come out until the spring of next year. Basically you need to read this book. Even if you're not into zombie stories or thrillers (because I've never have been), you should still pick it up and indulge yourself in the wonderful writing that Carrie Ryan delivers.