Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan


The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places

(Read 2013)

These are the next instalments in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. This is going to be a simultaneous review simply because I read both in such a short space of time that they aren’t really separate books in my head. (So if I say ‘this book’ I don’t distinguish between the two, although I know they are respective books!)

Firstly, wow.

A lot happens in these books. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is but a prequel to the events that go down. In many ways, it is that book that lets you see what the world is like before Carrie Ryan takes you on this amazing journey.

In general, the story and world are amazing. This is post-apocalyptic and it is completely understandable what is done even if we must disagree and not approve of everything. It makes it fascinating because you face moral dilemmas (from the safety of your armchair or bed!) that are almost worrying that you might think. I question who I agree with...and concluding that I agree with the idealist and the pragmatist/survivalist I don’t know where I stand. The plot nicely moves along and it never feels too centralised and dull- even without great movement (sometimes) there is always fantastic pace and Carrie Ryan uses her environment and world to great effect. Zombies are ever-present and this is taken full advantage of which makes both books engrossing and “unputdownable”.

The characters in both books are the same in terms of our main protagonists although obviously the cast of side characters differs between the two as befits the setting and progression of the story. But the characters...oh lord! There are circles within circles, triangles within triangles. It like trying to endless half a just goes into the infinity of numbers and it won’t end. Now imagine each of those halves is a part of the characters personality and they are built of these endless inconsistencies. Well now consider there are four main characters. Add in one or two important side characters who are similarly halved. You just have this huge amazing mess that creates this powerful, human characters. Now, I ain’t saying they’re perfect, but they are darn good...and they make for excellent reading.

So in general, I am very fond of these books. They were a huge improvement on the first and much more nitty-gritty. I’m taken along in this journey...I read these books over a two day period whilst on holiday and I was thrown into a rut after finishing (and after the first of the two books, the beach we were staying became infinitely eerie!). These come highly recommended.

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