Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review of The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 9780385738590
Available: Amazon 

GoodReads Blurb:

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?

***This review contains spoilers (particularly for the second book in the series)

Here is the sequel. While The Dead Tossed Waves was more of a series book, The Dark and Hollow Places was really a continuation. There are parts to this story that I found to be better than the first two books, mainly that Annah felt more believable and more beaten down. While Mary and Gabry carried their scars on the inside,  Annah is forced to carry them inside and out. She feels guilt from leaving her sister in the forest, and despair and anger from being abandoned by Elias. When she glimpses Gabry entering the Dark City, she finally has a piece of hope. the hope builds when she meets Catcher, starts to think that someone can see past her scars. 

Annah's story is the more typical romance angle. Girl falls for boy, boy finds another girl, girl finds another boy, but that boy wants the other girl too.  That did keep me interest because I really felt that Ryan worked hard on developing the characters more. In the previous book, Elias is show only through the worshiping eyes of Gabry, and while Annah initially does the same thing, his flaws start to come out and it's sad to see how she realizes that the only person she's loved for years would be willing to sacrifice her for Gabry's life. 

What I didn't like was that some of the actions sequences, especially near the end seemed to be over done and drawn out. Ryan seemed to have sacrificed some of her beautiful visuals in favor of trying to adhere to some Zombie movie scenarios.

The ending was still left open ended to a certain degree, but there was hope, not necessarily the human race, but at least for the characters left. I can't wait to read more by Ryan! 

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