There are many kinds of books. Books you read at the beach, books you'd rather not read in the middle of the night, and the really, really terrifying books. The Dead Tossed Waves falls in that last category.
I don't think the author was trying to be scary. She was simply describing a world where the Unconsecrated, the Mudo lived and infected. Nothing was written in a typical horror way. Everything was stated and clear, which is perhaps why this series is probably one of the hardest to read. I can not imagine living in that world.
There's a typical formula for books. There are good people, heroes, and bad people or societies or whatever. Something our heroes need to conquer to get to that much loved (or hated, depends on who you are) happily ever after. I don't think I've ever wished for a happy ending more than ever when reading The Dark and Hollow Places. Gosh, despair is what this series made me feel. I felt terrible. Scared. The ending wasn't perfectly happy, but it was as happy as you can get considering the circumstances. What I admire of Carrie Ryan is how she manages to do that- to write of a realistic world that makes sense. Not adding little bits and pieces to fit the story but sticking with what she's created.
I really hope that so far my review hasn't put you off the series because it's actually a really good series. Everything is unique, the characters (who I'll get to) are strong in their own ways, and the story weaves together surprisingly well to create a beautiful tapestry of life, death, love and hope.
Annah is struggling. She's spent the last three years surviving alone in the Dark City waiting for Elias to come back to her. Three heard years filled with longing, misery, and enough time to have put up brick walls around her. She lets no one in her wall of guilt and shame, but she survives. Annah amazes me. I don't think I'd ever have get strength, her resolve, her courage, her morality... She's amazing. A role model and I hope if anything ever happened, I could be as strong as her. What I didn't like is that she held on so hard to her wall that she wouldn't accept anything good of herself. It's nothing wrong with the story, just the way I am. Annah has lived a completely different life so of course I can't begin to fathom all that she's endured through.
The Dark and Hollow Places was the last book in the series though it didn't feel that way to me. It's very important to read this series in order so you don't spoil yourself but I think that if Carrie Ryan wanted to, she could add more books. The ending was a bit open so it leaves tons to the imagination. I guess I'm still dreaming of a happy ending, but seeing the way things are going, another book would probably mean even more dire circumstances which I'm not sure I can take.
Overall, I'm so glad I read this series. It challenges the ideas of hope, life and death. While I wanted to just close my eyes, I found myself continuing to read, flipping the pages almost like I was enchanted. The Dark and Hollow Places is worth your while, 4 stars