Age Range: 14 and up
Reader’s Annotation: In a post apocalytic world Mary’s whole life is bordered by the walls that keep her safe from the Forest of Hands and Teeth – where the Zombie’s from the Return wait for a human to enter the forest.
Summary: The zombie genre gains a lot with the addition of this title. For Mary, her world has always been about three things: the Sisterhood that runs her village, the Guardians who guard the fences and the walking Unconsecrated who roam just beyond the gate in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Taught by the Sisterhood that there is nothing left of the world since the Return, Mary is instead possessed by the stories her mother told her about the ocean and buildings as tall as the sky. When her mother is turned, and her brother turns her out Mary has no other choice but to join the Sisterhood. It is here that she discovers that the Sisterhood keeps many secrets and learns that an outsider has stumbled into their village. Determined to find a way out, Mary finds comfort in her childhood friend, one of four that she flees with when the Unconsecrated finally break through the village’s defenses. Ryan has managed to turn a common trope (zombie apocalypse) into something that the reader can empathize with. Tense settings and shadowy characters create a real world in which readers can imagine themselves. For those who have graduated from the romance heavy vampire genre. This is also a title that could possibly cross-over into the adult genre, especially considering the book's realistic conclusion.