The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Reading level: Young Adult
Trade Paperback: 404pages
Release date: March 9, 2010
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
Reviewed by: Helen
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.
Gabry lives in a world where zombies have taken over and have pushed the surviving humans to small, fenced in cities that are hundreds of miles apart. And with just one reckless decision, Gabry’s entire life is changed. This is by no means a happy book. It can be quite depressing, but in the best possible way. The action begins in the very first pages, and quickly unfolds into deeper levels of mystery and risk. Every time I thought I knew what was coming, another twist in the road was right around the corner. The writing in this series is absolutely flawless. The way that the story and settings are crafted is one of my favorite things about this series. No matter what is happening, the reader is pulled straight to the scene and made to feel as though they are experiencing it first hand.
The Dead-Tossed Waves did something else that I don’t see in a lot of other zombie books, which is explore the humanity of the zombies, or the Mudo, as they are called in the book. Instead of simply casting them as one-dimensional monsters, The Dead-Tossed Waves explored the hard questions of what exactly makes us human, and what differentiates us from those that we consider monsters.
Even though they are all technically "companions" to each other as opposed to sequential instalments in a series, I can easily say that this was one of the all-time best ‘Book 2’s in a series I’ve ever read. It took what was so intriguing about The Forest of Hands and Teeth and built upon it, creating an entirely new group of people that you will be rooting for, as well as throwing in much more romantic tension than the first book offered. Which I’m always a fan of! I absolutely cannot wait to start the third and final book in this series! If this one was any indication, I can’t wait to see what Ms. Ryan has in store for us next!