Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 407
Age: 14+
Received: from library

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 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.

Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.
I honestly think that Ms. Ryan has outdone herself with this book. It is masterfully written with likable characters, vivid scenes, and stong emotions that just tear through you. Though it is a companion book to The Forsest of Hands and Teeth, I highly recommend reading TFHT first so that you know that background story.

I absolutely understood Gabry as I myself can be shy, quiet and hesitant with breaking rules. Her fears of doing something that would break the rules she has grown up with, especially ones that she knows could hurt others if something goes wrong, make her that much more endearing. She wants to be like the others, but is afraid to be the srtongwilled, confident person that her mother is. She is afraid of everything, afraid of change, until her life takes a path she did not expect. She suddenly finds herself being the strong, brave person she always wanted to be, yet still with a touch of timidness when it comes to the Mudo/Unconsecrated and with love. Gabry is learning about who she really is, how she came into this world, and who she wants to be.
...about who I am and where I'm from. It's that I always thought I could be like her. That something in her - what made her so sure and strong - could be in me as well. I just had to find it.
The writing is so compelling that you can't help but feel for all of the characters. You want to laugh with them when they find a tiny piece of happiness, cry with them when the Mudo attack or something happens to a loved one, and mope around with them during the rainy days of trying to escape and make a new start in life. Sometimes it's so depressing as everytime they seem to get ahead or things look up, something bad happens and challenges them... yet there is always hope.
I startle when arms wrap around me but I don't bother protesting. I'm too ready to give up on everything, willing to let whatever happen to me happen. But then I can tell by the way he pulls me to himself, by the way he holds me as if he could push the pieces of me back together again.... I can tell by his smell and his strength and the way he leans his cheek against my hair...
I don't know how he found me - how he knew I was here - and I don't care. I want to hate him; I should hate him for who he is and what he's done... But for just a moment I allow myself to soak in his comfort because I need his strength. To fall into the feeling of him against me, another heartbeat with mine.  
The story is about more than just zombies taking over most of the world and people trying to survive through it all. It's about love, loss, hope and coping with the lot that life has dealt you. It's just a truly amazing story about a crazy messed up world.
"I don't know what the difference between surviving and existing is anymore. What are the Mudos? They exist. I think life has to be about more than that - or else what separates us from them?"
"What about love? That's something that separates us. That's what life is about."


  1. loved loved loved this book! I'm so nervous for the last book. She's such a good writer I hope she can carry it through...I know she can.

  2. @Katie - I loved this book and series. I cannot wait for the next one either. And I look forward to more books by Carrie Ryan. :)


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