Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Review of The Dead-Tossed Waves

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.
[from Goodreads]
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Dystopian fans, readers who enjoy immersing themselves in another world
High point: The writing
Low point: The ending; I am, yet again, unsatisfied!
Reader maturity: 13+

The Forest of Hands and Teeth left me with a bit of sick feeling in my stomach due to the ending. With that in mind, I approached The Dead-Tossed Waves with a sense of trepidation and detachment, which made it hard to get involved in the story. Carrie Ryan is, however, an author-type genius, and she pulled me in anyway with her insane writing skills and crazy (zombie-crazy, not unbelievable-crazy) plotlines.

Gabry is a much easier character to relate to, at least for me, than Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. She's a doer, not merely a wisher, like her mother, Mary. Other than that, it's hard to explain the complexity and depth of the story. I love how little bits and pieces of the bigger picture are starting to come together for the reader, even as the main character (Gabry, in this case) fumbles around looking for answers. I also love that there's so much about forgiveness and redemption in The Dead-Tossed Waves. I was almost as unhappy with the ending as I was with The Forest of Hands and Teeth (and I should know by now that Carrie Ryan does not a fairytale ending write), but the overall message was so much more freeing. It was also so much more sobering, about how a seemingly open society can be so paralyzed by fear that they bar all growth and the exchange of ideas, just as Mary's small, restrictive community did in The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

The Dead-Tossed Waves is amazing and fully holds its own as a sequel/companion to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It contains similar struggles and histories but also a small dash of hope that keeps Gabry and her friends going, even when they think they've breathed their last.

Title:  The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author:  Carrie Ryan
Genre:  Teen Fiction, Horror & Suspense
Year:  2010
Book Source:  Purchased


  1. Fantastic review! I very much agree...Gabry is much easier to relate to. I also had a bit of reproach going into this one because of the ending of Hands and Teeth.

  2. Eeek, I've wanted to read the books by Carrie Ryan so much! I love the covers, and I'm glad the book is as good as you say so! Carrie Ryan has created a really interesting story, and I'd like to read more about it! Especially dystopian novels. I love the world of Dystopia.

    A wonderful review, and I can tell you really liked the book a lot! (: