This book is set some years after the first in the series - "The Forest of Hands and Teeth". At the end of that book the heroine Mary reached the sea after her journey through the forest behind the fences which separate the people from the zombies. This story sees Mary as the custodian of the lighthouse by the sea and the mother of Gabry who is now a teenager herself. At the start of this book Gabry joins with other young people to climb the fence and explore a disused theme park. After a devastating event she finds herself alienated from her companions and in danger of exile but she wishes to keep a promise made to a friend and so she continually goes past the fences and then, with others, makes her way into the forest following her mother's footsteps in reverse.
This story is eventful enough and even seeks to fill in some gaps left from the previous book (although this is mostly achieved by finding a diary which is a bit contrived) but the problem, for me, is the character of Gabry herself. She is amazingly whiny and deceitful. All her companions are caught but she doesn't own up to what she has done. She knows it is dangerous to keep going past the fences but she keeps doing it - and having to be rescued at the expense of other people. She seems to have no regard for her mother's feelings, or anyone else's for that matter. I wish I could have liked Gabry more because my dislike of her prevented me from identifying with her or understanding what she was doing and why.
This is a strange sequel to the first book in that it doesn't follow Mary's story on but only gives us glimpses of what life might have been like for her since her arrival by the sea - you do, however, really need to have read the first book to understand this one. I thought some of the ideas were interesting, especially the cult that equates zombieism with eternal life, but these ideas weren't fully developed because we were following Gabry's story. The book is curiously unfinished and I am assuming that Gabry's story continues in that book - maybe some of the issues that are left hanging here will be resolved and Gabry might have grown up a bit !
- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz; 1 edition (22 March 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575090928
- ISBN-13: 978-0575090927
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)