Friday, 13 May 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Source: Library
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 377

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?
The Dark and Hollow Places contains just the right amount of awesome that I've come to expect from Ryan's books. Her writing is gorgeous, her characters are complex and her zombies are creep-tastic. What more could you possibly want?

I've probably talked about this in my reviews for Carrie Ryan's other two books but oh my gosh, the writing. It is so beautiful. There were plenty of times through my reading where I just paused, went back, and re-read passages.

Something that really stood out to me in this novel was how hopeful things could be even when it was a terrible, horrible situation that the characters were in. The zombies weren't really the main villains in this novel. No, this time, it was the humans. It was horrifying and disgusting how vicious and cruel mankind had become in the novel and even scarier because it was portrayed in a perfectly realistic way. Even with all of that, there were always those precious sparkles of hope that keep you from going crazy.

In regards to the main character, Annah, it took me a while to adjust to her. She is very different from her sister, Gabry, the narrator for the previous book, and I have to say that I missed Gabry's voice. Annah is scarred - both physically and emotionally - and is a very hardened character as a result of the life she has been forced to live. By the end of the book though, I really did appreciate her as a character. She perseveres and if there's one thing I learned from her, it's that you have to keep going, even when things get tough.

Speaking of lessons, I liked how much emphasis there was on one that I took away from this book. There was a lot of debating between the characters about what it truly means to be alive. That perhaps there was more to living then breathing, eating and sleeping. You love, you lose, you win, you cry - all of it is what separates us from the zombies.

A fantastic book with a gripping plot - a must-read series!


  1. Great review!!

    I love Carrie's writing, she puts so much thought behind the human emotion of her characters.


  2. Thank you! That she does. It's definitely one of my favourite aspects of her books :)

  3. Hi! I just found your blog, and I'm your newest follower!

    I haven't read The Forest of Hands and Teeth yet, but I've heard so much about it that I'll have to try it out. This one sounds great, and that's interesting that the humans were the real villains. Thanks for the great review! Oh, and I love your about me! Haha, go Hufflepuff!

  4. Hi, newest follower! *waves*

    I hope you end up liking it! TFoHaT was the first book that I actually reviewed so it has a special place in my heart :) It's not that the zombies weren't the villains... they just weren't the main source of evil for me in THIS book. The zombies were definitely worse in the other two. WHOO! HOUSE SPIRIT!

  5. I posted my review this week too. I loved it!! This third book was my favorite of the three. :0)

  6. Oh, cool! I'll go check that out :) I actually preferred the second book, but they were all great reads!

  7. I hadn't read THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH until a good friend urged me to, and I'm so glad that I did. After going to see Carrie Ryan at a signing, I was even more in reading DEAD TOSSED WAVES right now, and would love to win a signed copy of THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES.