Ticklish Owl's Reviews > The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
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Dec 07, 13

bookshelves: n-america, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, undead, young-adult, horror, romance-ensues
Read from April 01 to 02, 2011

After reading and reviewing The Dead Tossed Waves, I wasn't planning on reading the final book in this series. But, I hate starting a series and not finishing it, and I really hoped this book would be better.

The plot follows the previous two books; there's the whiny, self-pitying girl, the love triangle, and the need to escape. The writing hasn't improved either. Something is always almost like something else, unimaginative similes abound. Someone is always retching or vomiting. When hands, fingers, or knuckles are mentioned, they're raw, ragged, bloody, or bruised. Throats and voices are raw and ragged too. If you need an adjective, any adjective, just use one of these four.

Annah is always whining about her scars and hiding behind her hair. It makes her look meek. Instead of being invisible, she stands out as an easy target. Like Catcher, I was tired of having her 'badge' thrown in my face. It's her personality and her refusal to open up, not her scars, that makes her ugly.

In contrast, Gabry is more mature and steady. She's much more likable than in the previous book. Catcher and Elias are nice guys, even if they're not very multi-dimensional. The remaining characters were just filler, bad guy #1, bad guy #2, victim #1, etc. No personality or motives needed.

This could have been a 2 star book, except for one thing. The escape at the end is beyond ridiculous. (view spoiler)

If you liked this series, you might also enjoy:
The Clockwork Century series by Cherie Priest
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Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Shauna This EXACTLY. I cannot figure out why people love this series so much :-/ Great review, spot on.


Ticklish Owl I can't understand adults praising this series either, or so many of the recent YA series for that matter. They're poorly crafted simulacra of stories, nothing more.

I can see why this series would be popular with young readers (6th - 8th grade), especially those beginning to explore the world of YA books. The vocabulary isn't overly challenging, but the story is more grown-up than a typical grade-school book.

I think parents are so happy to see their kids reading these days, that they don't concern themselves with the quality of the writing. That's unfortunate because there are truly wonderful, imaginative, beautifully written books out there.


message 3: by Ricki (new)

Ricki Ahahahaha, wow. Thank you for writing this review. Not that I felt tempted to read the third book, but it was great to find out how it ended. I thought the escape at the end of book 1 was terrible too--couldn't they have done it way earlier? It took the zombies crashing through the door to *suddenly* spark that inspiration? Please.


Rebecca I gave the book two stars simply because it was entertaining, but I also was so disappointed about the hot air balloon escape. It was unexpected and quite awful. I'm still laughing about your sentence about the armada of quilted hot air balloons. My thoughts exactly! Hilarious!


message 5: by E (new)

E DB Thanks for saving me the trouble of reading the third book. I tried – honestly, I did – but the writing in the first few chapters was so poor I gave up.

Have you read Rot & Ruin? I like it infinitely more, and its silliness is more genre-silliness than poor writing or totally insane plotting (e.g. implausible hot air balloons).


Ticklish Owl E wrote: "Have you read Rot & Ruin?"

Not yet, it's been on my to-read list for ages. I was going to read it after Mira Grant's Feed trilogy, but it wasn't at the library. Thanks for reminding me!


message 7: by E (new)

E DB Do you recommend Feed? I've been trying to decide whether to read it!


Ticklish Owl E wrote: "Do you recommend Feed? I've been trying to decide whether to read it!"

I do. I wasn't sure about the blog/newsfeed aspect at first, but it works. The writing, plot, characterization, and pacing were all quite good. Most of the science was well researched and convincing. I don't understand how infrastructure (fiber for internet/telecom, water, power, waste disposal) was maintained, seems improbable on such a large scale. Other than that, the world building was believable, so much so that it was almost transparent.

My only complaint is Shaun's behavior (punching walls, people) in the second book. It seemed immature and not in character.

Otherwise, I found it entertaining and will read the series again at some point. If you liked
The Reapers Are the Angels, World War Z or similar books, you should enjoy Feed.


message 9: by E (new)

E DB Thanks for the overview. I'll definitely take a look at "Feed."


Ticklish Owl E wrote: "Thanks for the overview. I'll definitely take a look at "Feed.""

You are very welcome!


Nichole THIS review! Times a million. In fact, I may skip writing my own review in favor of pointing my friends an others to this one.

This book started out better than the last. But so quickly became the worst. I never thought I'd encounter a "heroine" (note: term used so very lightly here) more whiny than Bella Swan, but Annah--let's find a proper cliche, shall we?--takes the raw-ragged-bone cake!

I hope this is the end of this series, but I suspect highly that it's not.


Elizabeth Fantham You said it perfectly! And she rambled about pointless dreams and an overabundance of "thoughts" that really had no impact on the story itself. The "love" interests in all three felt the same. With two love triangles and the same thing happening for both!


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