Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
The title of this book immediately caught my attention and I ended up reading it in one day, which I never get to do. I have a To Be Read pile that's nearly a hundred books strong. This one grabbed me right from the start...not unlike one of the zombies that populate the novel.
As a HUGE zombie fan, I found the opening of the book lyrically-written, beautifully described, and with a fresh twist on the zombie meme. And as a HUGE zombie fan, I hold to the classic view of what zombies symbolize, which is death. That said, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was a great metaphor for life and death, free will and fate, and wondering of what path we take, what choices we make, will give us a different outcome.
However by the time I was two-thirds of the way through the book, I no longer cared about those choices. Mary, initially a fierce, determined protagonist, becomes mercurial in her desires. She has cravings, then once those cravings are fulfilled, she casts the object of her desire aside in pursuit of a fresh crave...perhaps mimicked by the restless need of the Unconsecrated for human flesh.
If this was the author's intent, then she succeeded. Otherwise, I felt Mary abused those she loved for some nebulous gratification. I tried to remember she was young and youth can be a double-minded and confusing time, but by then Mary lacked any likable qualities.
By the end of the book I felt a certain hollowness, perhaps mirrored by Mary after achieving what she wanted at the cost of everything she claimed to love.