This book is the sequel to Carrie Ryan's first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I reviewed that one some time ago.
The second installment is about Gabrielle, the daughter of Mary from the first book. Personally, I liked this one better.
For one thing, Gabry lives in a place that makes more sense to me-- a town by the ocean that is still closed off from the Mudo, or as most people call them, zombies.
This is, of course, a zombie apocalypse series.
Mary claims to be from the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but most people don't believe her because they think all it has in it are those damn Unconsecrated Mudo dead freaks. They aren't aware of the elaborate gate system with multiple towns separated within the forest. The elaborate gate system confused me terribly throughout the first book, but here's a hint: the whole gate system and how it was created is revealed in this book. Yay! That made me happy.
As in most of Carrie Ryan's works, it's not all lollipops and rainbows in the end. People die a lot. You know how a lot of times there is be all and end all relationship in which the teenage girl finds the love of her life in high school and something is keeping them apart but in the end they are meant to be? Carrie Ryan doesn't do that. Her relationships are more realistic. They don't always work out; sometimes they find other people they like better; they're confused about what their life means and who, if anyone, they should be with. This is really nice to see in YA fiction because I think it shows how most young people really feel. They don't always fall in love with the first person they see and stay with them forever. Sometimes they end up alone. And of course, all those damn Unconsecrated Mudo dead freaks are running around making life hell for everyone else.
Even from the beginning, you can tell that things are not going to be rosy. And I love that. It's a wonderfully depressing yet hopeful read and is full of mysteries. I'm already wondering what will happen in book three.