Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 22, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 407
Series: The Forest of Hands & Teeth (Book 3)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780385736848
Genre: Dystopia/Survival Horror
Series Reviews: Book 1 (2.5★) Book 2 (5★)

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. 

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?



The female protagonist, Annah, did not connect to me at all. I understand her pain and her insecurities but she came across as very shallow from her scars to blaming her sister for her mistakes. I felt that until the very end, the plot volleyed back and forth with the same message over and over that Annah would get in trouble, Catcher would withdraw, she would feel ugly. Then the end of the book just ended. It wasn't a tragic ending like you would expect from this series, but was rushed and simple.


This series has been a roller coaster of instability; I didn't enjoy the first book, it didn't grasp me and I had no empathy for Mary. But then, the second book suprised me and I loved it. I thought that the series was going to take an upturn and that the remaining book(s) would be just as spectacular. Then I read The Dark and Hollow Places and my book high was over. That isn't to say this book was terrible, in fact I did like it, but it let me down in some ways.

Annah, for one, was not a character that I seemed to have any connection to or empathy for. Regardless of the situation, she found away to turn the emotions negative, therefore dampening the entire idea of hope that Gabry is still trying to instill. Whether it was her twisting Catcher's words and going back to her scars and her brutal looks or she was taking the time to blame Gabry for her mistakes, her thought processes kept reverting to redundant remarks and she never grew past them.

This book hints at betrayal and character assassination, but aside from Annah, I still had a very warm spot in my heart for all of the remaining characters: Gabry, Elias, and Catcher. They were all still very integral to the story in their own way, and I was happy at the continuation between the two books.

The remaining aspects of the book kind of tainted my hopefulness a little bit. In survival horror, the aspect of hope is a very fragile being, and there is hope that these teens can survive and that we won't have to suffer any more tragedy, but the more we find out about the infection (and we find out quite a bit) the less we feel we can believe. But all hope is not lost yet...

If this is the conclusion to the series, it doesn't leave any sense of resolution for a happy ending, tragic, or even just surviving.

Rating out of 5:

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