Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 9, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 407
Series: The Forest of Hands & Teeth (Book 2)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780385736848
Genre: Dystopia/Survival Horror
Series Reviews: Book 1 (2.5★)

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.


Unlike the first book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth, this book was astounding. It had a combination of lies, cults, action, mystery, tragedy, had it ALL! The writing was stronger and the voice behind Gabry was stronger and more resolute, allowing more of a connection to her than Mary. This book also provided enough information on the Infection that I was left wondering but not questioning.


In a simple comparison, this book is the complete opposite of its companion, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The most profound change is the character construction; all of the characters were created differently in this selection than before. Each character has a better connection, a deeper story, and more intriguing mysteries and destinies.

Gabry's story is intricately woven throughout the entire book. The connections that this book has to the first are so well written and important to who Gabry is; we begin to unravel the secrets of time along with her, and it is an intimate discovery of self. Gabry is such a timid character, a welcome relief from the standard rebel who is strong and can defy odds.

This book has a delicately crafted love triangle but, unlike its companion, doesn't centralize its importance; it is developed and featured as part of her journey as she survives with Elias and Catcher. This book is full of lies, confusion, mysterious cults, secrets, growing up, survival and so much more wrapped securely in the blanket of wonderful writing. Carrie Ryan uses this book to provide more insight into the infection which helps us understand more of the world that Gabry, Mary, and the others are living in. That was something that was absent from the first book, and now we have the opportunity to see and construct the timeline, the world, and its inhabitants.

In a dystopian novel, the why is the most important question and having that answered somewhat was a relief. Then to have that paired with beautiful character creation, this novel opened up with propelling action and ended in the same context. It was an edge-of-the-seat read from start to finish; I recommend having Dark and Hollow Places (Book 3) on standby.

This book didn't leave me with the sense of hopelessness that I was expecting. Unlike Mary, Gabry wasn't fighting for her selfish reasons to find something, she was fighting for others. Fighting the unknown, the mudo, and fighting for her life in the sheer hope that she could save them all...even...Annah.

Rating out of 5:

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