Wendy Darling's Reviews > The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
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Apr 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian-post-apocalyptic-utopian, pn-zombies-biters, young-adult, read-2011
Read in May, 2011

I really liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I thought was a bleak, well-written take on the whole zombie story. I wasn't as big a fan of the follow-up novel, The Dead-Tossed Waves, primarily because I thought Gabry was a bit of a whiner and a little too obsessed with boys in the middle of all the death, dying, and undead.

As such, I wasn't sure whether I was eager to follow the story with the third installment in the series, but happily The Dark and Hollow Places returns with a compellingly flawed narrator in Annah, Gabry's long-lost twin. A frightened and lonely child who grows up to be a scarred and mistrustful woman, Annah is much more interesting than her sheltered twin--and Catcher, who was part of the triangle in the last book, is much more appealing than Elias. As with the previous books there's a lot of running away from the Unconsecrated, hiding out in forests, and fighting off unwanted attention.

I would preferred to have seen Annah come to accept herself in a more obvious way, to have had a little more time spent on her relationship with Catcher (it felt a little too close for comfort to have her pining for both of her sister's lovers), and I still don't really understand why authors ever want to write in the present tense. But overall the story moves along at a fast clip with descriptive narration and some pretty cool action sequences. There's a fairly open-ended close to the novel, but being that there are finally some notes of hope in this dark world, I'm kind of hoping that this is the end of the series. Better to let it finish on a high note than to let it drag out interminably.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Kiki (last edited Aug 16, 2011 03:57PM) (new)

Kiki Sweet review, darling Wendy. :) Authors write in present tense because if you're trying to ramp up tension, presenting it as something that happened in the past dampens that. You know who's going to survive, because the narration is happening "back then" as opposed to "right now". Present tense is a technique that action/adventure writers use to keep readers on their toes, basically. If these books were written in past tense, you'd notice how much less hair-raising the fights/death scenes/close calls are.

Wendy Darling Thanks Kira. I should have said that I understand the theory behind present tense, but that it rarely works well in practice for me. :) And I agree with your last comment in a big way!

M3tamorphasis11 Yes, I was especially surprised when I read the synopsis of the third installment after having read the first half of ch.1 on the second installment. To find that catcher was in the third installment O_O

After what happened at the amusement area...cause its dead...no pun!

I also agree that Gabry is whiney. Dah, well, guess thats her character. Thx for your review, now I really look forward to book 3. Actually, I am going to pack both books into today through the 11th. There. :)

M3tamorphasis11 b/c the library wants their book back :/

yes...im still using the old fashioned way. :P)))

Wendy Darling Well, enjoy your zombie marathon. ;) And I love the library! I buy a lot of books, but I check a lot of books out of the library, too. It's great.

M3tamorphasis11 I agree :-)

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