Reading Level:: Young Adult
Publisher: March 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
"It makes me think of a picture that the teacher who taught us about gravity once showed me. It was a photograph taken from space, probably from one of the satellites that Elias pointed out to me. The teacher told us it was the pre-Return world at night and all I remember is a sea of darkness with more lights than stars in the sky. All of them cities and towns and villages and houses.
I wonder what would happen if you took that picture now, how the darkness would have grown. And I think about what all those satellites have seen: villages like this one winking out one by one until there’s nothing left.
I wrap my arms around my chest as the sunlight leaches from the sky. Is that all we have left? Is that all we are? Lights on a map that are slowly dying, hanging on for nothing?"
Since the Return, the catastrophic infection that rendered most of the human civilization Unconsecrated- undead, villages like Vista have formed from the remnants of the population that managed to escape the onslaught of infection. Safe behind an elaborate system of fences that loosely tie one village to the next, the seaside city of Vista has lived in relative safety since its foundation. Confident that their defenses will hold, but still ever mindful of the throngs of Unconsecrated that endlessly beat against it's barriers, the citizens have established a harsh system of justice to deal with those who would dare go beyond the fences, those who would risk the safety of the village.
Gabrielle has accepted the rules established by Vista, and lived within the safety they give for as long as she can remember. From her home in the lighthouse on the beach she has watched as her mother has protected the shores from the Unconsecrated, the Mudo who's lifeless forms wash up with the incoming tide and reanimate when they sense the living. She has seen the incessant hunger for human life and blood that drives the Unconsecrated who wash up onto the shore and she has never once dared place herself beyond the protection of the walls, or her mother's scythe.
But funny what a girl will do for a handsome face with an inviting smile. One night Catcher holds out his hand to help Gabry climb over the barriers to explore the abandoned amusement park that lies in ruins just beyond the village's walls and a night of careless abandon becomes one of death and regret that turns the life of safety Gabry has known into a rapidly fading memory. An attack by a Breaker, an Unconsecrated of incredible drive and speed, will set forth a series of events that will drive Gabry from her home, into the Forest of Hands and Teeth and into a past she didn't know she possessed.
"I remember my mother telling me earlier that we are nothing more than our stories. I look at the masses of dead flesh, at all the stories that are now forever silenced."
As with The Forest of Hands and Teeth this book scared me silly. I'm so glad I live in my world and that I'm only reading about zombies in a work of fiction, on my kindle and not as a newsflash in the paper. Their mouths, ooooh I don't want to think about their mouths.
You're sick Ryan.
And incredibly talented because this book, with it's gore and death and disgust is so beautifully written that I DEAL WITH ZOMBIES just to experience it and I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE ZOMBIES in the future. The world created here is so vivid and excellently crafted it's almost like the book is in 3-D. I loved it.
Guess I'm sick too.
The one negative in this book for me was the character of Gabry. I couldn't stand her. She was such a flat, whiny, wussy little thing and she never developed beyond that. 400 cries of "You can do it Catcher," or "It'll be OK Catcher" does not a heroine make. She never atoned for her own neediness and she never once contributed to the group's escape. I would have had to smack her. But I loved who it turned out Gabrielle was- when I first saw her name I thought she was someone else and the tie in with Mary's story from The Forest of Hands and Teeth made for a great sequel.