Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Dead-Tossed Waves Review

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

(from the book jacket)
Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town nxt to the sea and behind the Barrier. She’s content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. 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, 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.

This is the companion book to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It does not pick up where the other one ended off like I had expected but takes place years later. Gabry has lived with the fear of the Mudo (or unconsecrated, or zombies) all her life and suddenly she is forced from the safety of her home and forced to flee for her life with the help of two boys, both of whom love her. Hey, wait. Isn’t that what happened in the first book? In fact, it is. And there were moments when I had a ‘same plot, different cast’ feeling while I was reading this. Especially when Gabry would go on and on about having to choose between two guys. There are things that make this book different from the first one, of course. The reason they are running is not the same, there is more of a human threat than a Mudo one, and there are new and interesting ideas about the Mudo and life among them. But I could not help but see the similarity. The book does do a good job of giving you a sense of events happening too quickly and spinning out of control as one bad decision spirals into one horrible consequence after another. And you can almost feel the sick feeling that Gabry must be feeling as she thinks about what her actions have brought about, what she could have done differently and goes though all the ‘what ifs’ in her head. I liked the way that the book, in some ways, comes full circle with the first one and things are tied together and all the connections are made. Mary, the main character from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, has changed but in many ways is still the same person. Which means I still don’t like her but in this case that is not a bad thing as it also means that Ryan has kept her character constant. There are moments of suspense and dread but there are also slower moments that are more about Gabry dealing with her own fears, hurts and guilt so it is more than just a horror story. Unfortunately it did tend to be over dramatic at times. With Gabry and her gut wrenching love for two guys, the cattiness of her friends and the angst against her mother it turned into a teenage soap opera at times and made me want to scream. But the book moved quickly and the scenes were over soon enough that I never wanted to stop reading. The end of the book leaves a lot of loose ends and the reader is left hanging and wanting to come back for more.

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