Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
The dead tossed waves by Carrie Ryan is the second in a trilogy of books all set in the undead world that she initially created in The forest of hands and teeth. This book picks up where the last one left off, but several years in the future. However, it has quite a different feel about it, the world although post apocalyptic is slightly more recognisable with our own world compared to the setting of a small village ruled by the Sisterhood and protected by the Guardians in the first book.
Carrie has also taken a slightly more philosophical approach to certain aspects of the undead in this books and questions whether anything of the person that they used to be remains after they have returned. It was something that I didn't really think about in the first book, a zombie is a zombie, but maybe, could there be more?
Gabry's best friend is Cira, who is an orphan living and surviving with her brother Catcher and it is a bit of peer pressure that gets Gabry to do something she wouldn't have dreamed of doing otherwise, crossing the barrier. I love the character of Catcher and while I like Cira she seemed a bit flaky. I also have to admit that her name drove me a bit nuts, I kept on changing my mind about how to pronounce it, which on occasion jarred me from the story ever so slightly. I also found that at times that I didn't really care about what actually happened to some of the more minor characters, Cira being among them.
I did enjoy this book, but I certainly didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did the first one. At times this book felt a little formulaic, it felt like a few aspects of the first novel were slightly rehashed in this one. We had a very similar heroine, feisty, stubborn and willing to risk everything for what she believes in, as well as the same sort of love triangle that we had in the first book. However, that being said this book was completely different in many, many aspects and quite original. The world that we are introduced to in this book is huge compared to the first one and unlike Mary that didn't know anything other than her small village, Gabry grows up knowing there is a whole world out there, but just beyond her reach.
In this book we learn a lot more the history of the world that Carrie Ryan has created as well as getting introduced to more factions of people and the government body. Thinking back about this book there really was a lot more details packed into this one than the first one, and I found the information and history of the world fascinating.
The ending was good, it left a bit of a cliff hanger but was rounded and natural enough that I was more than satisfied and not left pulling my hair out. I hate when a book in a series doesn't have its own ending, but just stops with the story in mid swing, I think it is all about getting a good balance and Carrie pulls this off expertly.
At first I didn't really 'get' the title for this book but after reading it all it really is a perfect fit for this story in so many ways. I don't tend to judge a book by its cover and title alone but sadly this is a cover (UK edition) that I just didn't like all that much and I don't really think it has done the book justice.
As a book you could read this as a standalone, but I would strongly suggest that you start at the beginning of the series. There is so much of the story that is set in the forest of hands and teeth that you would miss out on a lot of the finer points of the book and the layers of the world Carrie Ryan has created so well.
Highly recommended. Although this one hasn't been as good as the first one I can't wait to read the third and it has still been an enjoyable read from the start to the finish.
Four out of five stars!
I actually read this months ago and just haven't got around to writing the review *am dreadful*. I managed to pick up a copy shortly after finishing The Forest of Hands and Teeth in the library. I walked in for a browse, was just about to leave with nothing when I turned to find the book staring at me from a display stand. How excited was I. I never expected the library to have it the week it was published, you can imagine my excitement and seeing the library stamp go on that shiny new page *bliss*.
This time the book is written from the perspective of Gabry. Gabry is roughly the same age as Mary was in TFHT but a completely different personality altogether. She doesn't crave freedom from the barriers that surround the village in order to keep the 'mudo' out. Comparatively, she views them as a symbol of security, something which she embraces fully. All she wants from life is to feel safe. As the book progressed we discover the relationship between Gabry and Mary; I found myself comparing them finding they both had very selfish/self-centred traits, not thinking how their actions would affect others. I tried to put myself in their position to imagine how I would act, I wasn't successful.
She regards the other teenagers in her village with incredulity, finding their need to put themselves in danger in order to have fun as idiotic. She feels that they take their safety for granted. Of course, she is proved right.
Images of the movie I Am Legend kept running through my head with the comparison in the plot.
The storyline is dramatic, even shocking in parts; tying together the first book with the sequel seamlessly. There is no getting away from the fact that you have to read this series in order or you wont understand the intricacies of the plot. The descriptions are dynamic and sensory; I had the feeling I could feel/smell/touch/taste/hear all of the action (not necessarily a good thing when talking about zombies, lol). I was totally immersed in the narrative. At times my body would go rigid with the tension emanating from the pages. The tension was palpable making my heart race, I even held my breath in parts. My stomach literally flipped at the 'soulers' ceremony.
There are ingenious parallels within the narrative. The idea that nowhere is safe and maybe they should return to the forest (its the ocean every-time for me). Also the parallel imagery conjured by the description of Mary and Gabry in the waves compared to the photograph of Mary's Grandmother and Mother was inspired.
I particularly liked the philosophical debate between Elias and Gabry with regard to the soul and life after death. Including the retention of our memories and feelings. What happens to our memories when we die? \Do we carry them with us onto another life/ Do they no longer exist/ Or do they live on through others? The interpretation we can gain from this debate in relation to the 'mudo' is that the body is a vessel, upon death the soul leaves the body. the soul being the essence of who we are. Therefore, the 'mudo' are just empty (very scary, flesh eating) vessels that once contained a soul.
The inclusion of Shakespeare sonnets was brilliant, the death imagery was open to interpretation depending on the situation. Genius.
Overall a fantastic adrenaline filled book. I have to admit that at the time of reading this it had not been announced that there was to be a third book. Immediately upon finishing the book, I emailed Carrie Ryan asking if there was to be a third book. It was a compulsive need to have resolution of all aspects of the plot. I will be honest and I am a big fan of happy ending. Is there a chance that we could get a happy ending in a zombie apocalypse???