My Thoughts On: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Posted July 9, 2011 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 5 Comments

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date:  March 9, 2010
407 Pages
My Source:  Library
The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan

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.  -(summary from

My Thoughts:  I really, really loved Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth (the first book in this series). I thought the story was crafted beautifully despite the dystopian, post-apocalyptic zombie subject matter. I loved the characters and their complexities; their strengths and their flaws. I loved how creepy the Sisterhood was.

I was a little bit nervous to start The Dead-Tossed Waves, but within the first chapter there was plenty of action and soon I knew that this book was more exciting and thrilling than the first in the series (and that is saying a great deal, because I am a HUGE fan of The Forest of Hands and Teeth). The action lasted throughout the entire book and Ms. Ryan never let the pages become boring. Each of the characters were well-developed and well-placed within the story.

This book follows Gabry, who is the daughter of Mary from the first book. Gabry is a good girl. Like her mother, she is complex and resourceful, and this helps her in countless ways when she finds herself in situations that seem to be impossible.

Gabry also finds herself in love…with not one, but two guys. Catcher and Elias are both very different, but she loves them both very much and quite intensely. It is clear in reading the book that she sincerely loves them both, which I found to be gut-wrenching a time or two. Sometimes love triangles can be very annoying, especially in young adult fiction, but Ms. Ryan has a talent for weaving the love portion of the story in beautifully with the rest of the zombie action. Still, even with the love component, the humans’ survival of the military and the zombies remains the main focus of the book.

The best thing about this book is that even as the reader, I felt like I was sitting in a forest beside the boy I loved with butterflies in my stomach…even with the constant threat and noise of the zombies all around me. I could feel the nerves and fear and elation of these portions of the book. I think it is so cool that Ms. Ryan was able to pen these scenes so well that they came through the pages in that way.

I knew I would love this book. I didn’t realize I would love it as much as I did. I completely expect to love the next one as well. I highly recommend this series to readers who love zombies and post-apocalyptic books. This series is one of my absolute favorites.



About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


5 responses to “My Thoughts On: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

  1. I completely agree with your thoughts on this book! Thanks for all your comments on my blog! When I was in the Outer Banks, the smell from the fire wasn't bad, I mostly didn't notice it. I was too stoked to be at the beach to care 🙂

  2. So glad this one lives up to its predecessor! I don't think I LOVE Forest the same way you do, but it was my first (and thus far only) zombie book & I did really enjoy it. I've been meaning to pick this one up for ages & just haven't done it yet. Once my NEED to read NOW pile is a little lower, I think I'll have to prioritize this one!

  3. This book is just so well plotted – it moves along at an incredibly fast pace. It ruined my weekend – I haven't gotten anything else done! This is a great book that I look forward to recommending to alot of people. The combination of zombies and romance is unusual, so it makes it hard to know exactly who might enjoy this book, but the bottom line is no matter if you are a fan of zombie fiction or romance or just a good story, this is hugely entertaining stuff.

  4. I really liked this book. And if you want this book to be a stand-alone, go ahead. This book could do well without it's predcessor, although it's cliffhanger ending may be too much for someone with poor will power (aka me). I recommend this book to everyone, except those who like fairy-tale endings, "perfect" narrators, or can't handle flesh-eating corpses.

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