|The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: March 9, 2010
My Source: Library
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 Goodreads.com)
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.