on April 14, 2010
I devoured The Forest of Teeth and Hands in one sitting when I first got my hands on it. I was fascinated with the mythology of this town that thought it was the last vestiges of humanity. The sisterhood and the way of life was all so interesting to me and I loved how the plot developed even if it did leave the reader a little romantically unsatisfied at the end and perhaps disillusioned by Mary's ultimate selfishness.
I figured The Dead-Tossed Waves would be a furthering of that mythology, those characters, that same quest to find something more than what Mary had always known. Instead we're plopped into the story two seconds before life erupts for Mary's daughter.
Okay, fine. And some clever ideas were introduced but so riddled with the internal whining of the narrator that it was hard to appreciate them. There was very little development of the characters or the mythology (though we did get a small taste).
As everything changes for Gabry we're treated with her repetitive thoughts on that - ad nauseum - until it really was more like reading a whiny blog entry.
We're also treated to all the times Gabry thinks she ought to say or do something to someone that might actually help the story move on or ease her unhappiness but she almost always chooses against it. And the myriad times she goes from being attracted to one boy, then being mad at him, suddenly being attracted to the other, then being mad at HIM... you get the picture. Another viewer pointed out that her final choice really does come out of the blue. For a book written entirely in the thoughts of the narrator, that was probably one of the thought processes the reader would've actually liked to have heard. Though I'd much rather understand Ryan's need to leave the reader romantically unsatisfied with each book.
I notice that Amazon lists it as Book 2. If Ryan goes for a 3rd I hope she'll stick to developing the mythology, the Sisterhood, the history of the Return, and cut the whiny teenage angst back at least a fourth. We got enough of that with the Twilight series.
Dead-Tossed Waves is a sequel of sorts, although for some reason the publisher is calling it more of a companion novel. I see it as a sequel because it takes place almost two decades after Forest of Hands and Teeth, from the point of view of Gabry, a young teenage girl, who is the daughter of Mary, the protagonist from Forest of Hands and Teeth. Gabry resides in the old lighthouse off the shoreline in the town of Vista. Mary's job is to watch as the tide comes in and washes ashore the Mudo, those zombies, the dead that have returned and are mindless beings that hunger for human flesh *insert braaiinnnss joke here*.
Vista is a town that is well protected and guarded. Slowly the system of justice is being rebuilt by the Protectorate, a confederate government that rules from the Dark City. They are bringing back law and order to the small towns like Vista. Gabry enjoys her small town life and the simplicity of it all. But that all comes crashing down one night when a group of kids her age, including her best friend Cira, and her older brother Catcher, decide to break the rules and climb the fence and sneak into the abandoned amusement park that was kept running as long as it could even after the zombies outbreak. Gabry isn't the type to break any rules and enjoys order. But because of the deep feelings she has for Catcher, and wants to impress him, she goes along with the group. During this short moment, where Gabry enjoys her first kiss from Catcher, life as they knew it will be changed forever.
A special type of zombie, called a Breaker, attacks the teens. A Breaker is different from a Mudo because they are very fast and rabid. A few of the teens are bitten and quickly are transformed into them. Among them is Catcher, who stops them, but is bitten and infected. For the moment he is still living and makes Gabry run back home. Gabry has no choice and also leaves behind an unharmed Cira. Vista's Militiamen come and round up those who weren't infected and punish them. They have no idea about Gabry and her part in all of this. Catcher has run off and is hiding outside the town limits. Gabry feels guilty for not saving Cira, and promises her she will go find Catcher, regardless if he has become the walking dead. Also around this time, Gabry finds out a dark secret about herself from Mary, and she meets the mysterious Elias, who is searching for his lost sister, as he has travels with some of religious cult who thinks the unconsecrated are the saviors of the world.
Gabry has some big decisions to make. Catcher is infected, but hasn't changed into a Mudo, Unconsecrated or Breaker, because he is immune for some reason. Mary is finished with the life in Vista and disappears, leaving Gabry to fend for herself. Then there is Elias, who Gabry doesn't trust, but may hold the key to her past and possibly the future.
I was so very anxious to read Dead-Tossed Waves because Forest of Hands and Teeth had such a profound effect on me. I had very high expectations for the sequel, and because of that, Dead-Tossed Waves was a big disappointment. The writing is shaky at best and has no real motivation in keeping my interest. The characters are not sympathetic in any way where I cared if they survived or not. The first few chapters are intense, but then when Gabry feels very much alone and tries to figure out what her new role is in life, that is where this story falters. There are too many long winded paragraphs and pages of internal reflection and angst that makes Gabry more pathetic if anything. I had a big sense of detachment from her, and for the most part she was more of annoyance. Whereas Mary had a very unique voice, a drive to succeed and not roll over and die, Gabry is the complete opposite. She is very weakly written and not strong enough to carry along the story.
The amount of inner dialogue and lack of action is a big problem here. Also Carrie falls back on old tropes, specifically regarding the relationship Gabry finds herself between Catcher and Elias. And the twist with Mary, even if you can call it that, is somewhat bizarre. Catcher is a very descriptive individual, who did hold my interest, much more than Gabry ever did. I can't help but wonder if Carrie had decided to write the story from his point of view, how much richer and exciting it all would have been. Even when things begin to move in such a way where you should be hooked, I could barely keep from speed reading just to know the final outcome because I found myself bored.
I will say that Carrie has created a bleak and descriptive world that can catch your attention. She makes a great case and explains in such a way that makes sense and why things have come to pass. Her writing is strong in some ways, but it others, it isn't and because of that, there isn't enough of a balance to keep things focused as they should be.
Dead-Tossed Waves didn't have me cowering under my covers, nor did it give me the chills and thrills I had hope for. The way Carrie ends this chapter, in what I think will be a trilogy, may have me picking up the next book, but not with as much desire and "I need this book now!" as the first.
on March 17, 2010
I LOVE "The Forest of Hands and Teeth." So much, that I took a bus while on vacation to buy "The Dead-Tossed Waves." But I'm sad to say I could barely get through it. The writing is VERY choppy. I really want to know who the editor is. And with the incomplete sentences, you have Gabry, the main character, repeating the same thoughts over and over again throughout the book. Unlike FOHAT, this book is more inner dialogue and less action. That wouldn't be so bad if she wasn't always throwing herself a pity party. Honestly, this book is about 70% of her thinking the same thoughts with little going on between it. The writing made the repeated thoughts worse - there were many pages where the author would use the same wording or idea several times within a page. That's a big no-no in writing.
To me, every good book needs romance. "The Dead-Tossed Waves" offers it, but it's weak. You know very little about any of the men, which makes it harder to like them. I got to the point that I didn't care who Gabry ended up with, because I couldn't get attached to anyone. And when Gabry does make her decision, it comes out of nowhere. She's kissing one guy one minute, the declaring her love for another the next.
The only real action that happened is in the first 20 pages. After that, it's a bunch of teen angst, horrible writing, and hope that somewhere in the next hundred pages, a glimpse of "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" will show. So little happened, that I feel the author wrote the book only because the first one left you hanging. I think Ryan was better off leaving it with a bang then writing this book.
After reading Carrie Ryan's debut novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I couldn't wait for the release of her next book. The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 2) did not disappoint. Gabry, the daughter of Mary, has grown up in the sheltered sea town of Vista, watching her mother take care of the lighthouse and dispose of the undead Mudo (Unconsecrated) that wash up on the beach. Gabry's life has been about fear of the Mudo and staying safe. After she takes a risk by following her friends and her crush over the Barrier one night, her entire world unravels. Her web of friends and family are missing, dead, or infected, and the only answers and hope seem to lie beyond the Barrier. Despite her fear, Gabry must decide what risks are worth it to survive, both emotionally and physically.
In some ways, this book excels its predecessor. Ryan's writing was strong in the first novel, but it's even better this time. First-person, present-tense can be a difficult style to use, but Ryan does it well with writing that is descriptive and evocative. The protagonist, Gabry, is very relatable, and characters are more well-defined in this book. Sense of place is strong, as is pacing; Ryan doesn't hesitate to take the reader into dark action in the first 30 pages and doesn't ease up after that. Relationships between characters feel real, and the romantic/sexual tension is palpable and aching. The story also allows the reader to know what happened to Mary, even if it's decades later, and questions are answered about the mythology of the Mudo/Unconsecrated. Like the first book, the novel explores complex issues, including the purpose of life, the repercussions of one's actions, and the selflessness of real love. Differently, though, the reader is left with more hope for the characters.
In other ways, however, the book wasn't as good as the first. Some plot points felt recycled, like the repetition of dangers, the need to flee, and the love triangle. Having read the first book, there was also a certain predictability that nothing would turn out well. There's a lot of death and destruction, and some of the main characters engage in or silently condone some very bothersome or violent actions. The story finished with little closure and an obvious cliffhanger ending to set up the sequel.
All in all, though, this was another dark, gripping read from Ryan, and I look forward to the continuation of Gabry's story in the next installment. Though it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH first. There are a few clues and poignant moments along the way that won't resonate unless you've read the first book.
on March 29, 2010
I also loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and looked forward to this book. Unfortunately, it's basically just a re-washed version of the first book. With the exception of a new twist at the very beginning, it's basically the same story as the first. Girl torn between two men, running through the forest constantly threatened by Zombies, and slowly but surely losing her companions. The only suspense is wondering if she'll end up totally alone, just like the first book, or if she'll get to keep a friend or two for the next book.
It depends entirely on the world-building accomplished in the first book. We get a tiny glimpse, here and there, of the larger world, but not enough to "see" it or even get curious about it. And it ends with no real resolution, one of those obvious "wait for the next book" type endings.
I suspect that the next book will pick up where this one left off, and that in fact, this book could have been cut into half (or less) and combined with the next book to make one complete story. I sure am glad I got it from the library instead of buying a copy.
on April 18, 2010
Carrie Ryan's novel, `The Forest of Hands and Teeth', was one of my favorite books of 2009. In fact, I count it as one of favorite books of all time.
Ryan's debut was an exhilarating and frightening tale set in a post-apocalyptic universe. `Forest' told the story of Mary, and her village's fight for survival in the aftermath of a disease that destroyed the world, as we know it. The `unconsecrated' do not die; they are savage and ravenous, desperate to taste flesh and pass on the virus that wiped out millions...
`The Dead-Tossed Waves' is a companion novel to `Forest'. The story picks up years later and is about Mary's daughter, Gabrielle `Gabry'. Gabry's life is forever changed when one reckless, youthful act of defiance sees the death of her friends and forces Gabry to realize her own fragility.
This second novel is glorious. `Forest' introduced readers to a changed world riddled with fear and disease, as seen through the eyes of one girl and her close-minded village. `The Dead-Tossed Waves' sees Ryan's story grow, as layers are added to this destructed world and the plot thickens...
In this second novel Ryan explores more complex issues that arise from the aftermath of infection. She puts a very human face to the post-apocalypse, and also ties up loose ends created in `Forest'. Whereas the first novel concentrated on the disease's effect on one small village that was secluded from the rest of the world, in `Dead-Tossed Waves' Ryan gives readers a glimpse of the more far-reaching disaster. She introduces `Soulers' - a crazy cult that has arisen, who believe immortal life can be found in an unconsecrated's bite. Gabry and her friends talk about traveling to `The Dark City', the last bastion of city life, and one of the only densely populated urban areas to survive since disaster struck. Then there's `The Recruiters' - an army of citizen volunteers who patrol village borders and kill the undead.
Ryan's series is firmly grounded in the horror genre. Her scenes are cinematic and spine tingling, at once exhilarating and terrifying. But it's not enough to simply say Ryan's books are about `zombies'. Sure, the unconsecrated are frothing, horrifying and undead - but there's real heart behind the zombie plot. Ryan's series is ultimately about hope - that tiny ember that pushes humanity to survive against all odds: to keep trying, fighting and holding on, no matter what.
Ryan beautifully encapsulates this idea of survival and hope in the tender romances of her protagonists. In `Forest', Mary was torn between her love for two brothers - Harry and Travis. Gabry follows her mother's footsteps in `Dead-Tossed Waves' as she has conflicted feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Catcher, and a stranger she meets beyond her home's border, Elias. These romances have real heat to them - the characters spark on the page and it's impossible for readers not to feel just as torn as Mary and Gabry between the loves of two good men. These romances are so important to the story and they hold such weight - after all, love is worth fighting for, and one of the best motivators for survival.
Carrie Ryan is a perfect example of the Young Adult genre's growing popularity and widening readership. The genre is no longer just for the audience of its namesake - adults are reacquainting themselves with a genre that is growing more sophisticated and garnering more publicity than books in its adult counter-part. `The Forest of Hands and Teeth' and its companion novel, `The Dead-Tossed Waves' are two books that will appeal to young adults and adults alike for its dark themes and complexities.
If you haven't already, I implore you to read `The Forest of Hands and Teeth' and then `The Dead-Tossed Waves' for a sinister but fulfilling read.
on January 9, 2015
This is the second book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series. Gabry, a teenaged girl, lives in a lighthouse with her mother, Mary. On a dare from her friend Cira, she goes outside the fence with a group of teenagers, including Cira’s brother, Catcher to an abandoned amusement park. What was a lark becomes a tragedy as they are beset upon by the Mudo, infected with the zombie virus. While Gabry escapes, Cira and many of the others are either killed or captured upon their return and sentenced to work as soldiers/guards in the city, which is a death sentence for most. Cira begs Gabry to find her brother, who she finds has been bitten. Along her perilous trip she meets the mysterious Elias who keeps her safe and provides some key insight into Catcher’s condition. Her mother’s revelation and disappearance, along with some trying circumstances lead to an escape into the Forest and to secrets of Gabry’s past. While uneven, at times, I appreciated the building of the world mythos and would have liked to have learned more. I am hoping that the third book will provide some resolution to the story.
on October 28, 2013
"'Then what's the point of making any memories?' I ask her, my voice heated. My shoulders tense with agitation. 'What's the point of any of it if all we're supposed to do is forget?'"
"They appear almost human in death, more human than they seemed just moments ago. And I wonder again what we lose when we die and if we retain anything of what we used to be when we Return."
The second book in the series seemed deeper to me. The first book was this shocking tragedy that showed what life had become after a zombie apocalypse. How creative we became in sustaining life. The second book tried to search for meaning in all of this. And while there were no zombie babies thrown out windows we did have zombies with broken off jaws and no teeth traveling on leashes with humans. Very reminiscent of Walking Dead. Makes me wonder if it was derived from the Robert Kirkman's comic books or if the same idea happened to come to both. Either way it's awesome. And I love that there are cult's that worship zombies in this book. In many ways the survivor's are almost scarier than the zombies at times.
on November 17, 2012
Find this review and more at City of Books
The Dead-Tossed Waves was a book that was mind-blowing and I just didn't want to end ever! If you read any Carrie Ryan books you'll know what I mean because her books are just fantastic. The Dead-Tossed Waves isn't a sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth, the last time I read the 2nd companion book in a series it wasn't a very good experience (ie. Fire). The Dead-Tossed Waves took everything I loved about it's companion and added so many original and new concepts.
Our main character of TD-TW is Gabry, the daughter of Mary who was the protagonist of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. All Gabry has ever known is the fenced in city of Vista and the ocean adjacent to the city. Gabry makes a decision that she can't take back and her life is forever changed. Soon she faces the unexpected like a zombie
worshiping cult, tremendous secrets, and a terrifying forest.
Gabry wasn't a fighter like her mother but Gabry still was a well-written and awesome character. What Gabry lacked really was self-confidence because she kept putting herself down. Gabry was way braver than she took credit for. The love interests were very diverse on many aspects yet they didn't make me cringe as in most love triangles. I think the romance aspects were well-written and really enhanced the emotional depth of this novel.
The Dead Tossed Waves isn't a direct sequel but it still continues The Forest of Hands and Teeth's story in an interesting way. I really like how both stores were intertwined and how some questions I had in the previous novel were finally answered. The Dead-Tossed Waves wasn't as gory as The Forest of Hands and Teeth but it had alot more heart and emotional depth than it's predecessor. The Dead-Tossed Waves is an emotional zombies like Warm Bodies that I really enjoyed.
I really recommend TD-TW because it really exceed all of my expectations. It really gave me a different view of zombies than just mindless brain eaters. Zombies were humanized in this book because zombies were people too you know! The Dead Tossed Waves is a thriller that is so action packed that you won't be able to put it down!! I highly recommend it for fans of Zombies books and books with great love triangles. I need The Dark and Hollow Places more than Zombies crave brains!
on November 6, 2012
I am trying to finish up some series that I started reading, and Carrie Ryan's zombie series is at the top of the list. I love the world-building; zombies have been decimating the human population for decades, cutting off the remaining human settlements. Life revolves around not getting eaten by zombies. A bite will turn a normal, healthy human into a slavering, mindless monster. Walls and fences have been erected around the towns and villages to keep the creatures out, and Gabry's mother, who lives in the lighthouse, must patrol the shoreline and dispatch any of the undead that the tide brings in. Gabry is content with her life; she obeys the rules, helps her mom, and tries to stay out of trouble. This makes one giant lapse in judgment on her part almost inconceivable. Bowing to peer pressure, she sneaks over the wall to go to the old roller coaster, putting herself, and her entire village, at risk. Gabry and her friends are, predictably, attacked by a zombie, and the consequences of her breaking the rules will have repercussions she could never have guessed at. It sends her on a harrowing race through the Forest of Hands and Teeth, in search of her past, and in search of the truth.
While I love the deadly, menacing world where Gabry lives, I was not so enamored with Gabry herself. I found her so shallow and immature, and I could not relate to her. Even after the disastrous outing beyond the Barrier, a willful act that destroys most of her generation of teens from Vista, she tells herself that she wouldn't change a thing about that night, because then she and Catcher would never have brushed their together. Wait? What?! Most of her friends are either killed or turned into zombies, or are going to be banished from the village, and that's okay, because why? She and her crush, Catcher, brushed lips together. They don't even share a proper toe-curling kiss! No, they brush lips, and that life-altering experience was worth the cost of several lives, including her best friend forever, Cira. This made no sense to me, and made me dislike Gabry intensely.
When The Dead-Tossed Waves centered on Gabry and friends race to elude the undead and the Recruiters, I enjoyed this book. As long as Gabry was reacting to all of the near-death situations she is constantly confronted with, I thought this was a tense, exciting read. As soon as Gabry started her endless internal monologues, I was jarred out of the story and wished she would just. Stop. Talking! to herself. I think that I felt this way because she established herself to me as a self-possessed, self-involved, and selfish woman who always put her own desires ahead of everyone else's. When her mother makes confessions about her past, Gabry rejects her, condemning her for lying to her. This bothered me because Mary's whole life revolved around making a safe, secure home for Gabry, which was something that she didn't really have when she was a girl. For Gabry to abruptly turn her back on her mother, to let her venture off into the Forest by herself, I just couldn't forgive her for that. Gabry had already crossed the Barrier several times by herself, which was strictly forbidden, yet she was willing to let Mary go alone. She was too scared to go with the woman who loved her and raised her, but she was willing to put herself in harm's way if a cute boy was waiting for her? That just didn't say much about Gabry's strength of character, and since I didn't respect her, I had a hard time liking her. She does come around by the end of the book, but it was a little too late for me.
That said, I did enjoy aspects of the book. I just didn't not like the protagonist. I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy The Dead-Tossed Waves more, and I am hoping that The Dark and Hallow Places will be more up my alley.