The Dead-Tossed Waves (Review)

Book cover for "The Dead-Tossed Waves" by Carrie Ryan.Title: The Dead-Tossed Waves

Author: Carrie Ryan

Publication Year: 2010

Pages: 432

Genre: Fiction, Young Adult

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

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 — home is all she’s ever known and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe.

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.

In one reckless moment, 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.

(This is the second book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, after The Forest of Hands and Teeth.)

I think that I liked this book even more than The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I was a little confused at first by the change in narrator, but once I figured it out – and the connection between Gabry and Mary! – I loved it. It just … worked.

One thing I found really interesting was the way that Ryan managed to show how two different societies react to the same phenomenon. They use different language to describe the zombies, and different mechanisms of control on the populace, but all for basically the same end result. And yet, they didn’t plan this together. It’s interesting.

The cult of Soulers in the book was also pretty fascinating, showing another side to the zombie thing. These are people who want to be bitten, to be infected, because they see it as a positive thing, a way to be immortal. When you contrast their attitude with that of everyone else in the book, it’s thought-provoking … and rather creepy.

In the end, I think it was the long journey that the characters embark on that really defined The Dead-Tossed Waves. I wanted to know what they would do, where they would go, and if they would ever make it. It’s not like they can keep wandering on their own, so it’s got to end up with them going somewhere. It’s just a matter of where.


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