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The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth) Paperback – February 8, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Timid, thoughtful Gabry has grown up safely in the city of Vista. She lives in a lighthouse with her mother, Mary, the daring heroine of The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Delacorte, 2009), whose job it is to kill Mudo—zombies—as they wash ashore. Then one night, Cira, Gabry's best friend, and Catcher, Cira's brother, convince her to sneak outside Vista's walls. With the attack of one Breaker—a fast zombie—everything changes: a friend is killed, Catcher is infected, and Cira is imprisoned and destined for the Recruiters, the army that protects the loose federation of cities left after the Return. Feeling both guilty for having escaped punishment and self-destructive after the revelation that Mary in fact adopted her, Gabry pushes herself to cross the city's Barrier again. Some pieces of the narrative are well constructed: the constant, looming threat of the Mudo, Gabry's quiet determination and daring in the face of fear, and villainous soldier Daniel's palpably frightening power-grabbing sexual advances. Other details are less believable, like Mary's suddenly abandoning her daughter and her duties to seek her past in the Forest. Though flawed, this volume has enough action, romance, and depth of character to satisfy, and the cliff-hanger ending will leave fans hungry for the third book.—Megan Honig, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
The Forest of Hands of and Teeth (2009) spliced classic zombie mythos into a world that was one part postapocalypse and one part colonial America and drove the plot with a healthy surge of teen hormones. This companion piece, which features some returning characters in minor roles, involves another discontented young woman, Gabry. Life within her walled town is shattered when a group of her friends step past the border and are attacked by the Mudo (that’s zombies to you and me). A series of calamities results in a third act much like the one in Forest: Gabry flees through an unknown wilderness with companions including potential new paramour Elias and former crush Catcher, who may be immune to the Mudo’s bite. Though her reliance on sentence fragments is a bit irksome, Ryan knows how to put together an action scene; the final pages are especially thrilling. Savvy readers may scoff at the constant lusting going on amid the carnage, but fans of Forest will be happy to find a familiar flesh-eating formula. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
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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.
"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.