Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)

Author: Carrie Ryan
Pages: 374
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Previous Books in the Series: The Forest of Hands and TeethThe Dead-Tossed Waves 
Synopsis: There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

Buy the Book (Amazon)
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



  1. I really enjoyed all of these books and I'm quite looking forward to reading what Carrie Ryan decides to write next.

    Great review.

    I'm an old follower :)

  2. I thought the book was Fantastic! The whole series was great, but this one in particular really had me going. It was intense, and a good Zombie novel should be. I am also glad certain characters from the last book, finally get to have a chance at love in this one! I just wish there was more books to come.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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