Thursday, October 13, 2011
Review of The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Published: March 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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.
**** This review contains some minor spoilers.
I loved this book much more than the first in the series. Gabry was so different form Mary. Mary was always looking out, wanting to leave and discover what she was missing. Gabry is full of fear of the outside, and doesn't understand why her mother is drawn to the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But Gabry is forced into the forest and although she has her weaknesses she conquers them in order to be with the boy who risked everything for her and her best friend.
There is a love triangle aspect that I felt worked much better than in Mary's story. When the story starts Gabry is just starting to realize that she may have feelings for her best friend's brother, Catcher. He's an appealing character, good looking, fun, brave, and ultimately self-sacrificing. When he's infected, in part due to Gabry's action, she takes a stand against her fear of the outside. Although she does make some silly choices, it made her a bit more likable than Mary. The other love interest is Elias. He's the mysterious stranger that appears, noble and her own personal hero. He's as likable as Catcher, and although they are different in many ways, there are enough similarities to see how she could be attracted to both. I really feel that I would have been happy with Gabry ending up with either one of them.
I think that labeling this book a sequel is an injustice to this book. The Dead Tossed Waves isn't a continuation of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The story is set nearly twenty years later, and although Mary is present, her role is minimal. You could read only this book and not feel lost in the references to the first book. I loved having Mary back in this book and that Ryan chose to go back and give Mary some happiness and hope, along with information about some of the other characters from The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
The action in this book is equal to that of the first. Both have some terrifying visuals and I think that is Ryan's greatest strength. Even weeks after reading these stories I can clearly visualize specific scenes. This truly is a dark and somber zombie movie on paper.