Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next 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.I had high expectations beginning this novel and, let me tell you, The Dead-Tossed Waves completely and utterly surpassed them.
There's just some quality to Ryan's writing that makes the words flow off the page. There is plenty of despair and desperation in this dystopian, zombie series and it is all described exceptionally well through the text. It's one of those books that just gets to you because of how strong the main character's voice is and I loved that about it.
I had a much easier time connecting to Gabry than I did with Mary, the main character of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, probably because we're a lot more similar than Mary and I are. Gabry is filled with a different kind of strength than Mary and is a lot less reckless. She is less outspoken and more vulnerable but there was a quiet kind of courage nonetheless.
Then we have Elias... Oh, dear, I loved him. Sure, he had some issues, but in a post-apocalyptic world of zombies and death galore, I think it's acceptable. The bottom line is that he was kind and patient and I never once felt like he was trying to push Gabry into something she wasn't ready for or putting her in harm's way.* Can we have some more, please?
I kind of hope that now that this series is over (written and published, that is. I have yet to read the final book), Carrie Ryan will try for a happier novel. I feel like the worse thing that could possibly happen really did occur, over and over again. I will cheerfully concoct a long-winded happy ending for all of these characters if the final book doesn't give me one - I think I'll need it for my sanity!
So, what I hope you take from this review? If you haven't read this series, you're missing out. There is death and infection and killing and grief but sometimes you're rewarded with precious bits of hope that are enough to keep the pages flying. It's a marvellous story and I highly recommend it.
Cover Comments: I love this cover! The position of the cover model, the frothy water... all of it just works. Beautifully done!
*If you've read the book... er, excluding that. I know that statement probably got some raised eyebrows.