The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
(Spoiler warning: Because this book is part of a series, this review may contain spoilers of earlier books. If you haven’t read the previous books, you may want to skip this review)

author’s website:
Carrie Ryan
release date: March 9, 2010
appeals to: Young Adult
genre: Paranormal / Zombies
length: 416 pages
overall rating: 5 Stars

*the inside flap*
Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She’s content to let her friend dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her light house. Home is all she’s ever known, and all she needs for happiness.
But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can’t hold back.
Gabry’s mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don’t stay buried. And now, Gabry’s world is crumbling.
One night beyond the Barrier . . .
One boy Gabry’s known forever and one veiled in mystery . . .
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, and the other half imprisoned.
Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother’s past.

*my review*
First, let me say that this book was absolutely fantastic. There is a ton of fast moving plot and I felt like I couldn’t put it down! I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but this book was faster moving and had even more twisting and turning in the plot.

I was struck right away by the contrast between Gabry and her mother, Mary (the main character from The Forest of Hands and Teeth). The story starts with Gabry describing how she feels like the boundaries of her village are safe and protecting. She even says that the boundaries “were what held me together, what kept me safe and protected and whole” (p. 4). That struck me because her mother felt just the opposite in the first book. The whole plot of the first story was about breaking through the boundaries, so to hear this protagonist talking about needing them was interesting.

So much happens in the first part of the book that you are drawn in to the story and it becomes difficult to put the book down. There is a love interest between Gabry and Catcher, but after the attack (within the first two chapters), Catcher becomes infected, which obviously puts a glitch in things. Then Gabry meets Elias, and he seems to have love-interest potential too! And through all of that, there is the constant contrast of do I stay inside the boundaries or push past them.

Gabry is a very multi-faceted character. She is much braver than she ever realizes. It is interesting – she’ll describe all of her fear and doubt and hesitation, and then she do incredibly brave things anyway. She seems to believe that having the doubts make her weak, but really, her actions speak mountains for her bravery.

Overall, this story was incredible. I was completely drawn in to the world that Carrie Ryan created. The characters are so thoroughly detailed that you feel like you

*short and snappy*
: captivating – there is a lot of detail, but it never felt overdone to me. I think that the details added to the story by making it so realistic (even in a fantasy world)
plot: quick-paced and suspenseful – it definitely holds your interest!
characters: thorough – the characters are so detailed that you feel like you know them.
judging by the cover: I think this cover is beautifully done. It’s probably half of the reason I picked up the book.
miscellaneous: On her website, Carrie Ryan shares that there will be a third book in this series. Right now, it’s due out in Spring 2011.


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