I feel like I should be immensely ashamed for admitting this, but even after all these years, after my book tastes have evolved so much, I still don'tI feel like I should be immensely ashamed for admitting this, but even after all these years, after my book tastes have evolved so much, I still don't hate this book. Sure, I can no longer say this book deserves 4 stars, and sure, I have issues with with this book, but I can give it no less than 3 stars.
That's right, slags, 3 stars.
I like this book.
Sure, I get it: you no longer respect me. That's fine, I'd feel the same were I in your shoes because, honestly? I'm just as surprised as you. I thought that during this re-read of The Host I'd be doing a whole lot of:
But, alas, I didn't do much of that, and it's completely weirding me out.
You may not know this about me: I spent the last 4+ years hating everything Stephenie Meyer. My incoherent "review" of Breaking Dawn is proof of how much I loathe the woman and everything she stands for. (It's also proof that, much like the rest of the world, I had been drinking the Twilight flavored kool-aid at one point).
But yeah, Breaking Dawn sucked. I noticed and got furious, and--HUZZAH!--the evil witch's curse was broken and I moved on. That's right, I never looked back (except for all the times I had to let everyone know how much I detested Stephenie Meyer), never picked up another SMeyer book, and I discovered that there are much better books to read and I pretty much lived Happily Ever After.
So, why did I pick this book up again? Honestly, I was doing some spring cleaning, getting rid of books, and I was just about to throw this book in my donation box, but then I thought: maybe I shouldn't. I did like it, didn't I? I couldn't remember, so I ran to GoodReads and read my original review, and I thought it would be hilarious to re-read this book and write a snarky review to commemorate the upcoming release of the movie.
But, yeah...not feeling the snark right now.
Don't get me wrong: this book isn't that good. It definitely has it's issues--I swear to Iesha, I will hunt SMeyer down and slap her if she doesn't stop using the following words: 'angelic', 'growl', 'brooding', 'snarl', 'irrevocably'... I could go on...
And yeah, I really don't care for how weak yet simultaneously long-suffering her protagonists are.
Don't even get me started on how much I don't like how she likes to pair young girls with older men. Or that, in this book in particular, a 20-something guy ends up with a (barely) 17-year-old girl who, by the way, is described as looking more like a 13-year-old. It's weird. It's creepy. I think we can all agree SMeyer has major issues in this area. Good thing she has all that Twilight money to pay for all the therapy she needs.
The amount of beatings a particular character receives is disturbing and also pretty ridiculous. She gets slapped, punched, kicked, drowned, strangled, and has her face slammed into walls and floors on numerous occasions. It's like she's Rhianna because she still loves two of the guy(s) who abuse her--although, yeah, they both apologize and that sort of behavior does stop.
Holy crap! I seem to have a lot more issues with this novel than I thought I did. Strangely enough, I still like it. I'll explain myself later when I have time and when I don't have a headache.
Original review, written 05/14/2008 (I originally gave it 4 stars): This is probably one of the more unique novels I have ever read. It's about a Soul named Wanderer and her new host body, which just so happens to (still) contain it's previous owner, Melanie Stryder. In the beginning, Wanderer struggles to rid her new body of the previous occupant's consciousness. Needless to say, Melanie and Wanderer don't like each other.
After months of dreaming about Melanie's past, Wanderer decides to try and find Melanie's loved ones. She is curious and is driven by something she's never really felt before: romantic love--because of Melanie's memories Wanderer discovers that she has feelings for Jared, Melanie's boyfriend. Wanderer is also yearning to know Melanie's little brother, Jamie. Wanda has protective, mother-like, feelings for Jamie.
Anyway, quite a bit more happens but I really don't have time to go into it all. Let me sum it up:
-crazy love quadrangle (not sure if 'quadrangle' is even a word but I don't really care). -Hike through the desert -Death threats -attempted murder -repeated beatings -romantic make out sessions -not so romantic make out sessions -awkwardness -abduction -Love -Hate -theft -gardening -soccer games -amateur surgery
Okay, so I am kind of being silly now. Seriously though, whether or not you like Sci-Fi, you should give this book a try.
This book was quite entertaining and I would have given it 4-5 stars if it weren't for the ending. The ending seemed rushed and I thought, "is that itThis book was quite entertaining and I would have given it 4-5 stars if it weren't for the ending. The ending seemed rushed and I thought, "is that it?" when I finished it.
It seems like Westerfeld gets to a certain point (I'd say about 3/4 through writing a novel), and he's like "dang, how am I going to end this without adding 200 more pages?" So he just ends it in 20 pages or less. I felt that way about this book and I felt that way about 'Extras'(but I digress...)
Peeps are parasite positive, meaning they are vampires although, they don't tend to use the word vampire. I quite enjoyed the new twist on the same old vampire thing.
I never thought I would say this, but I quite enjoyed all the chapters about parasites. Quite informative and also sort of fun.
I also wanted to mention that this book is quite funny at times. I quite enjoy the humor in this book.
**spoiler alert** I wanted to love this book; to read it over and over until my head exploded. I tried to love it, even after page 360, and my complet**spoiler alert** I wanted to love this book; to read it over and over until my head exploded. I tried to love it, even after page 360, and my complete disappointment of Jacob imprinting--on Bella’s mutant baby, no less. But I kept reading because I just knew that Stephenie was going to make it up to me.
The more I read the more difficult it became for me to finish. I am ashamed to say I endured the torture ‘til the bitter end--and, oh, was it bitter! Or rather, so sickeningly sweet it caused me to throw up in my mouth a little. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about happy endings but not at the expense of a good plot.
Breaking Dawn could have been a pretty good ending to an okay series. To say I am disappointed with this book doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. In all honesty, this book ruined the entire series for me. I no longer have the desire to pick up any of the other books--which I quite liked at one time. There is no way I could read them again now that I know the ending is so ridonculous (rE-D'on-kU-lus; Adjective, used when the word ridiculous just isn't enough).
This book started off okay, with Bella angst-ing about having to drive a flashy car and getting married at such a young age--Classic Bella, am I right? But after the wedding and even the majority of the honeymoon, things went downhill. Bella, pregnant? Really? But, I was willing to forgive that particular plot twist even though it defied Mrs. Meyers canon about vampires. And she never said it wasn’t possible for a human to get pregnant after having sex with a vampire, so I simply shrugged my shoulders went with it.
I’ll admit that I liked the Jacob chapters, despite the fact that Edward offers Bella to Jacob so long as Jacob can convince Bella to abort the abomination that they’ve created with Edwards magical vampire sperm--Edward was watching his 'true love' die and it was torturing him, so of course he lost touch with reality. Totally understandable (although completely icky as well) so I hand-waved that. Forgave it. I started getting aggravated when Bella was totally drawing Jacob back in (unbeknownst to us, the readers, it’s only because she’s pregnant with his future bride. More about that atrocity later) and setting him up for more heartbreak--classic selfish Bella that we love to hate.
I really hoped that Jacob would find the ability to move past his love of Bella on his own. I don’t know about anyone else but I am getting sick of the I-cannot-live-without-you kind of “love” (more like freaky obsession) that has been going on in these novels. It is actually possible to heal from a broken heart and, you know, MOVE ON!
It seemed as though Stephenie was going to have that happen, that Leah and Jacob might deepen their friendship and discover that they actually care for each other. But that would erase Jacob from Bella’s life and we couldn’t have that. No--Jacob gets to imprint on the abomination that is Renesmee. Lucky him! Now Jacob doesn’t actually have to work to heal his broken heart. Oh, and of course, lucky Bella for not actually having to sacrifice anything. Three books full chalk full of Bella's fears, about having to give up all her human relationships, was really all for not (I hate you Bella Swan-Cullen. And I really hate Little Brown Books for screwing me out of all that money).
Now on to the delivery of Renesmee: WOW, talk about a joyous occasion! What with Bella vomiting a--I kid you not--'fountain of blood'; the breaking of bones (Bella's back was snapped); the c-section preformed with Edwards mouth (yes, I just said MOUTH); little Renesmee--who, creepily enough, is actually born with a full set of teeth--gives new meaning to the words 'breast feeding', and mama flat lining after all was said and done. It really is too bad they didn’t get the whole thing on film.
Renesmee, hmmm…where to start? I’m not even going to touch the subject of her name with a ten-foot-pole. I’m just going to say that the way she’s described in the novel sounds more like the Bride of Chucky instead of some super cute baby. All the rapid growing, blood drinking and mind-melding was in no way endearing, it was weird.
Considering that the romance was non-existent in the last 3/4 of this novel, it totally lacked in cute Bella and Edward moments. All we got was not-sexy, kinky, tantric, vampire sex that had the potential to go for days, or even weeks (yes, Bella actually thinks about that being a possibility). YIKES AND...JUST YIKES!
Isn't it just super great that Bella gets to keep Charlie in her life? It proves that you really can have your (disgusting blood) cake and eat it too. I love that the sheriff in town doesn't even want to know anything about the vampires in town--unless, of course, it is entirely necessary. Which, I'm sorry but when a huge group of vampires descend on the area 'round about, I'd say that's a need to know basis. But does anyone tell Charlie? No. Apparently ignorance really is bliss.
Oh, and I loved how Renee, Bella's mom, just disappeared into obscurity. She didn't even call when Bella was supposedly in lockdown with some deadly Brazilian disease. Seriously though, when did Renee go from being the overbearing mother who would FREAK OUT about not hearing from Bella every day, to one who couldn't care less what the crap happened to her?
The epic battle was more like an epic failure. The whole book was building up to the fight in the woods and then nothing happened. Talk about anti-climatic. I found that I was just as disappointed as the Romanian vampires were. The only casualty was Irina and it's not like she was important enough to be broken up over.
Despite the fact that I am a huge Jacob fan, I would have been okay with him dying to protect the little monster he'd imprinted on. I mean, JK Rowling killed DUMBLEDORE for crying out loud. Stephenie could have killed just ONE of her precious characters. By doing so, she would have been able to breathe some life into this flaming pile of garbage.
And it seemed to me that by avoiding a fight the Cullens just woke a sleeping giant. Based on the conversation they were having after the "battle" it seems to me that they knew the Volturi were going to come back and attempt pick them off one-by-one. Wow, talk about a victory! But why worry when Bella has mad vampire skillz? Am I right?
Worst line from this book: "Goodbye, Jacob, my brother... my son." *dry-heave* *shutter* *cringe* *shutter*
The last few pages when Bella lifted her "shield" for Edward, so he could read her mind, wasn't all that bad. I kind of liked that part, to tell you the truth. I also liked learning more about Leah Clearwater (in the Jacob chapters). In all honesty, it was the rest of the book that was full of fail.
The title of this book is pretty creepy, I realize. So what compelled me to pick it up and read it? Not quite sure, to tell you the truth. I've neverThe title of this book is pretty creepy, I realize. So what compelled me to pick it up and read it? Not quite sure, to tell you the truth. I've never been into the whole zombie thing - it's not my bag. Yet, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I genuinely liked this book.
Sure, it's not the best book ever written - most of the story is narration (seriously, there is very little dialogue, particularly at the beginning of the novel. It took some getting used to). And sure, I don't particularly care for the protagonist at times - she's naïve; seemingly unaware that her choices effect the lives of others (she's the protagonist, she's obligated to be naïve). And suuuure, the village in which part of the story takes place is reminiscent of the village in M. Night Shamalan's The Village (only a little. Okay, maybe a lot. -ish). But I still enjoyed reading this book because it's got adventure, suspense, some romance (because ya gotta have some romance), and a limitless army of flesh-eating zombies.
Okay, so I've simplified it a bit. There is more to the story - a whole other layer to consider. The protagonist, Mary, spends quite a bit of time thinking about stuff. Basically, she's trying to figure out who she is and what she believes. She wants to know if there are other people - other villages, like hers - beyond the forest that surrounds her village. She wants to know if the ocean exists. She's driven by the stories her mother would tell her about the world outside the fence that surrounds the village - before there were zombies (or rather, The Unconsecrated - what zombies are called in this book).
Like I said, I liked this book, though I would've rather given it two-and-a-half stars instead of three, but there are no half stars and it deserves more then just two stars. Also, I'd like to mention this book is not for everyone (Though there is not a lot of violence, what little there is can be quite graphic). ...more
Update 06/10/10: changed star rating and added a little addendum/explanation at the end of the original review.
Loved this book, though it isn't anythiUpdate 06/10/10: changed star rating and added a little addendum/explanation at the end of the original review.
Loved this book, though it isn't anything particularly special; it isn't a life-changing read. But it's not a "check your brain at the door" book either. It's just a fun fantasy/adventure-type book.
Clary is your regular fifteen-year old girl growing up in New York - nothing particularly special about her or her upbringing, though her father passed away before she was born and she knows little about him. Her mother is a gifted artist who, for unknown reasons, has never allowed Clary to believe in magic, fairy tales or other such nonsense.
Clary spends most of her time with her closest friend, Simon. One night Clary witnesses a crime (murder) that, as far as she can tell, no one else can see - not even Simon. The three teenagers that committed the murder are surprised that Clary can see them. Thus begins our story.
In this book we find out that Clary is special and there is quite a lot that her mother never told her about herself. Though, we don't find out exactly what it all means because Clary's mother disappears the night after Clary witnesses the strange murder. Around the same time Clary's mother disappears Clary is approached by one of the teenagers that committed the murder - a cocky guy named Jace Wayland. Through Jace and his friends, Clary learns a little about who she is and why she can see things other people can't.
Anywho, the major romantic relationship in this series is...weird (not sure if that's the right word but 'taboo' seems a bit strong. Perhaps it can be classified as somewhere in-between, considering the circumstances? You have to read the whole series to get what I'm talking about), though I can't say I didn't see it coming.
I know, not a strong review, but I really do like this book and the rest of the series (City of Ashes & City of Glass). Seriously, the series is totally worth reading. Check it out.
I didn't know about any of the controversy surrounding the author, nor had I heard of the Draco Trilogy when I read this series. So I actually liked--okay, loved--the Mortal Instruments series when I first read it.
Before you strike me down, let me explain.
First off, at that time fantasy was a fairly new genre for me. The Twilight saga had just wrapped up, and though I found Breaking Dawn to be incredibly disappointing I still liked the paranormal/fantasy aspect the whole series. And so I started devouring every fantasy/paranormal novel I could get my hands on. It wasn't long before I came across this series.
At the time, City of Glass had just been published, and word on the internet was that it was a good series. I was too much of a noob to know better then to believe the vast majority of book bloggers. I didn't know they tend to sugarcoat their reviews. Or just plain lie. So. Yeah...
Anyway, I read City of Bones and I liked (loved) it. I finished reading the trilogy in less then a week.
Because this series was a breath of fresh air--my salvation, if you will--when I was drowning in a sea of horribly written YA vampire novels, I ignored the similarities to Harry Potter and Star Wars.
When it came to the Buffy universe, I was unable to make the connection, that Cassandra Clare had borrowed, liberally, from the Buffy universe. It was all new to me. (Just so you know, I've never watched an entire episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'm a special effects snob, always have been, and the cheesy special effects on that series made me cringe.)
Even after I found out that she was an unoriginal hack and everyone seemed to hate her, I didn't think less of her. I was like, "so she borrowed liberally from several places and from her own (not actually published) work. Who cares? James Cameron did the same thing and nobody ever called him out on it. I mean, ever hear of Disney's Pocahontas Avatar?"
I even went so far as to read all the allegations against her, of which there are several, and I thought people needed to get over it, move on. So she made a (bunch of)(huge) mistake(s) years ago. I'm sure she's learned her lesson. People need to forgive and forget. It's not like she's Hitler. Besides there are far more important things to worry about in this world.
And that is where I stood on this matter for about a year.
Funny thing is, I tried rereading this series last month. You know what, I couldn't even finish City of Bones. I don't like it anymore. Now that my eyes have been opened, the series totally sucks and it's incredibly unoriginal. I know, it's strange that I didn't think this way about the Mortal Instruments series, and Cassandra Clare, until I tried reading it again. *shrugs* I don't know what to tell you--it is what it is, I guess...
Anyway, I (finally) understand where all you Cassandra Clare haters are coming from. She sucks, her books suck, and her work doesn't deserve to be published.
(*whispers* That said, I think I'm still going to read the two books she has coming out relatively soon. You're allowed to judge me. I don't mind. I'm already disgusted with myself, but clearly not enough to NOT read anymore books written by Cassandra Clare.
P.S. I'll be borrowing the books if that's any consolation.) ...more
Cassandra Palmer was raised by vampires and can see ghosts. She also happens to be clairvoyant. Cassandra knows little about who her real parents are,Cassandra Palmer was raised by vampires and can see ghosts. She also happens to be clairvoyant. Cassandra knows little about who her real parents are, but when she was fourteen she had a vision about how her parents died. It turns out the powerful master vampire who raised her had them killed when she was little. When Cassie learned the truth she ran away and went into hiding.
At the beginning of Touch the Dark, we learn Cassie has been on the run for ten years.
Just when twenty-four-year-old Cassie is starting to feel settled she discovers Tony's henchmen are close by, forcing her to skip town. Before leaving she decides to warn her roommate Tomas to not go back to their apartment for a couple of days.
After finding Tomas, Cassie and Tomas are attacked by four very scary master vampires. During the attack Cassie learns there is much she didn't know about Tomas. Anyway, this all goes down in the first few chapters.
I like Cassie. She's one of few urban fantasy protagonists that doesn't tick me off. She's no Kate Daniels but she's still awesome. And I appreciate her sense of humor.
This is a total chick novel (btw, there are a few sexual scenes but it's not harlequin romance novel bad, just regular adult fiction type bad and can easily be skipped) but with a fun fantasy/adventure twist. ...more
Quick (-ish) story: This book first came to my attention soon after it was released. I was at Borders trying to decide between three books, Strange AnQuick (-ish) story: This book first came to my attention soon after it was released. I was at Borders trying to decide between three books, Strange Angels among those selections. I read the first few pages of each book in an attempt to narrow things down. Based on the prologue and the first few pages of the first chapter, Strange Angels was removed from consideration.
Why had I been so quick to eliminate this book from the running? Although the prologue pulled me in from the first sentence it was evident that the protagonist was a "tough girl", not one to be reckoned with. And while I luvz me a tough main character, particularly when said character is a girl, it only really works when written correctly. IMHO, when it comes to this genre the tough girl concept fails more often then not. I'm not sure why, exactly. Lazy and/or unimaginative writing is my best guess. But I digress.
Fast forward to the beginning of December 2009: I had a few audible.com credits. Unfortunately there weren't any audio books I was particularly excited about. But I had a ginormous pile (read: mountain) of laundry to fold and I needed something semi-interesting to listen to while I did so. I stumbled across Strange Angels again, and for whatever reason decided to give it a go (If I remember correctly my decision had everything to do with audio book length more then any other factor, which is kind of sad, but whatever).
Long story short(-ish): I'm glad that I chose this book. Not only was it a worthwhile use of an Audible credit, effectively keeping me entertained while folding a few weeks worth of clean laundry (in one night, might I add). But this book is a really good YA paranormal read, not to be overlooked.
Strange Angels is the first book I've read by Lili St. Crow and it definitely won't be the last. I'm disappointed I didn't give this book a chance back when I first picked it up. I appreciate that St. Crow seemed to have a solid understand of the characters she was writing about--their history/background--before she started to write. What I mean is there are believable reasons behind the way these characters react to each other and to situations that unfold.
Within the last year I've read quite a few books from this exact same genre in which the characters are unrealistic in storylines that are incredibly preposterous, or worse yet, unoriginal, I was under the impression ANYONE can be published these days, so long as they write a story about a supernatural-something falling in love with a really insipid teenage girl. That being said, I can't seem to stop reading YA paranormal books which is kinda sad, I realize. But I feel the need to mention, books like Strange Angels make my addiction to this genre bearable. What I'm trying to say is this book is infinitely better then a large chunk (read: around 85%) of other books from this same genre.
Where was I? Yes, I remember now: I really liked this book. Which is why I gave it four stars. Were I to compare this book to books from YA paranormal alone, it would definitely get five stars.
Warning to my LDS friends: There is quite a bit of swearing in this book, but little to no sex. Actually there is no sex in this book, though there are one or two quite mild--but not exactly sexual--situations. Would I let my teenager read it? I don't know... probably. Because swearing aside, I think it's more worthwhile then any of the Twilight books. Do I think your teens should read it? Not my call. But honestly, I've always felt parents should have firsthand knowledge of what their teens are reading/watching, etc.
**More like 2.9 stars, so I went ahead and rounded it up.**
If you've been following my reviews you know that I love underdogs. I'm not entirely sure w**More like 2.9 stars, so I went ahead and rounded it up.**
If you've been following my reviews you know that I love underdogs. I'm not entirely sure why I love underdogs. I just do. Perhaps it's my belief that underdogs typically have the potential to be top dog if they just try a little harder, put a little more effort into whatever they're trying to accomplish.
So I stand on the sidelines cheering like a maniac for the underdog, despite the odds, despite their performance in the past. Thinking maybe if they have more support, more people that believe in them, they'll finally do it. (BTW, were I into baseball, I'd totally be a Red Sox fan).
What does my love of underdogs have to do with Clockwork Angel? Its author, Cassandra Clare, is an underdog. At least I consider Ms Clare to be underdog material.
I honestly believe Ms Clare has so much untapped potential, and (possibly) the writing talent to wield said potential correctly. If we just give her more time, more opportunities, she'll finally prove herself. I just know she will.
Unfortunately she failed to prove much with Clockwork Angel.
Look, this story isn't horrible. If anything her writing has improved, and I liked this story more than I liked the first three books in her Mortal Instruments series. Cassandra Clare gives us all the paranormal elements from her MI series and then some. To mix things up we get some steampunk elements as well. Clockwork Angel has action, adventure, mystery. A little graphic violence, which I didn't mind (because apparently I'm dead inside). Sexual tension, or at least what passes for sexual tension in early-twentieth century England, aaaaaand the makings for a (possibly) good love-triangle. Plus Magnus Bane is in this book, which is cool.
But there are a few cringe-worthy moments. A few ginormous cringe-worthy moments. Times in which I was thinking "Oh. Oh! Oh noooo! What was that!? Why? WHY!? You were doing so well!"
There was one time in which I was super-duper embarrassed for Ms Clare and/or her editor because a main character says the most ridiculously cheesy thing at an incredibly somber moment. And no, it's not meant to be ironic. It's supposed to be some beautiful moment between comrades. It's so bad I'd say it's up there with Edward Cullen's "Goodbye Jacob, my brother...my son" line. (BTW, *cringe* *dry-heave* *cringe*)
Although, as I mentioned earlier, this book isn't horrible. To be honest, I feel the majority of it is 'good(ish)' and 'better than what I expected'. There were even times in which I was (inwardly) cheering for Ms Clare. I was all "YEAH! I knew you could do it! You go girl!" (yeah, I know. No one says "You go girl!" anymore. Except me, when I'm thinking). (Shut-up).
Here's the deal though: because Cassandra Clare failed to 'bring it' this time around, I'm not necessarily going to recommend this book. I'm not saying you shouldn't read Clockwork Angel, I'm saying do so at your own risk. Don't expect this book to be super awesome. You've been warned.
P.S. I will be reading the next book in this series. And probably the one after that. Yeah, I know--this series has "(possible) massive trainwreck" written all over it. But who doesn't love a literary trainwreck? I know I do. (I'm dead inside, remember?) Horrible books are incredibly fun to review. ...more
I'm torn with the rating I gave this book. It deserves more than three stars but I wouldn't say I 'really liked it'. So, even though I like this bookI'm torn with the rating I gave this book. It deserves more than three stars but I wouldn't say I 'really liked it'. So, even though I like this book more than I like it's companion, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I gave it the same amount of stars.
Quick review: In The Forest of Hands and Teeth we were introduced to Mary, a not entirely likable teenage girl living in a remote village reminiscent of the village in M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Village'. Mary's village is fenced off from the surrounding forest which is full of zombies (referred to as the unconsecrated). Mary desires, more than anything, to venture outside the fenced-in village to find her way to the ocean, even though she's been told her whole life the ocean no longer exists. At the end of The Forest of Hands and Teeth Mary receives her heart's desire: she sees the ocean, and that is where her story ends.
The Dead-Tossed Waves is told by Mary's teenage daughter, Gabry. This is Gabry's story. Gabry (Gabrielle) is quite unlike her mother. Raised in Vista, the seaside city Mary discovered at the end of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, she has no desire to venture outside the city walls where the Mudo--unconsecrated!--dwell.
In the first chapter Gabry is invited by her best friend's cute older brother, Catcher, to sneak past the barriers to the abandoned amusement park, which, while still technically fenced in, is forbidden since those fences are no longer maintained or guarded. It is only the lure of Catcher, his flirtatious promise to protect her, that finally gets Gabry to do what she fears most: leave the relative safety of Vista.
It is in the amusement park, as Gabry receives her first kiss, that things go horribly wrong (who'd have guessed??? I kid, I kid). A Breaker--an über-mudo, if you will--attacks the group Gabry is with. Long story short: their little adventure outside the city walls does not end well.
Because of the commotion caused by the attack they know it is only a matter of time before the city militia arrives. So Catcher insists Gabry flee the scene because those caught outside the city walls will be punished severely. Before she leaves, Gabry tries to round-up Cira, Catcher's sister, to go back with her, but is unsuccessful.
Gabry returns to the city by herself, a decision with which struggles throughout the rest of this novel. She's riddled with guilt that she was unable to stop everyone from going to the amusement park in the first place. Gabry hates that, unlike Cira and the rest of her friends, she wasn't caught.
Because she's the only one who wasn't caught she's obligated to search for Catcher, at Cira's request. The only problem is, Catcher may have been bitten by a mudo. What's worse, he's hiding somewhere outside the city walls.
So Gabry ventures outside the walls once again, attacked by more mudo, and saved by a young man, named Elias, who is clearly not from her village. And this is when the adventure really begins.
Overall, this is a pretty good book. I think it's much better than The Forest of Hands and Teeth, mainly because I don't mind the protagonist; she's not selfish like her mother was at her age. Also I think The Dead-Tossed Waves is written better than The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Before I go on, I need to mention that I'm not a fan of the love triangle in this book. It's not that I don't luuuurve me a good love triangle, because I do. It's just the fact that Carrie Ryan already did the whole love triangle thing, and not very well might I add (IMHO, Mary was undeserving of such attention so the love-triangle in The Forest of Hands and Teeth felt forced. And in the end it turns out the triangle was completely unnecessary).
I feel Carrie Ryan should have gone a different direction this time around--not everybody has two equally good-looking guys vying for their attention. I feel Carrie Ryan, along with a lot of authors these days, are relying on the love triangle a little too much. I think Carrie Ryan cheated herself, her story, and the readers, by focusing too much attention on the love story.
Example: Gabry spends too much time being torn up over the whole Catcher or Elias question. Especially when, as far as I'm concerned, her preference is obvious. I wish Gabry had made a decision early on, sparing everyone involved (including the readers), and spent more time thinking about more important things. Such as the many interesting ethical questions raised by various characters in this book (What is the difference between existing and surviving? Is there a difference? How are the infected (mudo/unconsecrated) different from the non-infected? When a body Returns, is part of their former self--their soul--still there, just trapped inside?).
There are other things I didn't necessarily like but I can't bring them up without giving away too much.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, while I do quite like this book (and I'm planning to read the next one) I'm left feeling a little disappointed. Carrie Ryan could have done so much more with this storyline, the deeper elements are present but not explored. Which is why I couldn't give this book four stars.
(I do want to give Carrie Ryan props for writing zombie books targeted specifically at females. If it weren't for her I wouldn't have picked up a zombie book, ever. Which, in retrospect, would have been quite unfortunate as it is a genre I quite enjoy.)
Side note: Also, I think Carrie Ryan could have should have released The Dead-Tossed Waves first and eventually released The Forest of Hands and Teeth as a prequel. Why? Because The Forest of Hands and Teeth does not actually add to this story, seeing as Gabry spends the majority of this novel (mostly) ignorant of her mother's past. Sure, we the readers are able to make the connections, but that just takes away from the reading experience--we already know what Gabry doesn't. It's sort of infuriating.
Plus, the way in which this book ends I'm assuming the next book, The Dark and Hollow Places, will start where this one leaves off; Gabry still telling her story. Which is just another reason why it doesn't make sense that The Forest of Hands and Teeth was released first. ...more