Monday, 28 March 2011

Review: The Dead - Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known and, and all she needs for happiness. But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back. Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling. One night beyond the Barrier . . . One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery . . . One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

Carrie Ryan’s writing is incredible, no question. The first book ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ was genuinely terrifying and beautiful and the sequel ‘The Dead Tossed Waves’ is, if possible, even better.

I love that we get a second insight into Mary’s life, without another book based entirely on her. Instead we follow her daughter Gabry, who has been raised in safety and is terrified of the world beyond the barrier. Gabry’s transformation throughout the course of the book is fascinating to watch. She turns from this meek little mouse of a girl into a fighting spirit who is desperate to protect anyone she loves. I occasionally got a little frustrated by her whining, but just trying to put yourself in her situation and you can understand why she’s struggling so much.

We don’t get to see much more of the world than we did in the first book, but there’s a lot more explanation and fleshing out of details that were only touched on in the first. It made the world a lot more real and terrifying, and suddenly the threat doesn’t just come from the unconsecrated, it comes from the people who are policing this broken world. The threat is on all sides, and I was on tenterhooks all the way through.
Ryan has proven before that she isn’t afraid to break up love, that killing people is not a problem, and that makes everything that bit scarier, because no one is safe.

Her writing is a thing of beauty. The prose is incredible, the emotions are spot on, and you really feel the writing. You feel every heart wrenching moment when Gabry feels as though she might break apart from the wrongness of it all. You truly feel the struggle as she tries to reconcile the feelings that she had with the feelings she used to have. There are circles that are joined up, completed and extended from the first book so that some storied are brought to a close, whilst opening up the possibilities of new ones.

It looks like the third book will be picking up shortly after this book left off, so I’m looking forward to seeing how all the different storylines will pan out. ‘The Dark and Hollow Places’ is going to be released on the 7th April 2011, so put the date in your diary when questions will be raised, hopefully some will be answered, and I may pass out from the sheer stress in the book. But it will so be worth it.

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