Angela's Reviews > The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
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Mar 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, paranormal, zombies, favorites, apocalyptic-or-dystopian, 4-stars, read-in-2010
Read in March, 2010

Great companion novel

After reading Carrie Ryan's debut novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I couldn't wait for the release of her next book. The Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 2) did not disappoint. Gabry, the daughter of Mary, has grown up in the sheltered sea town of Vista, watching her mother take care of the lighthouse and dispose of the undead Mudo (Unconsecrated) that wash up on the beach. Gabry's life has been about fear of the Mudo and staying safe. After she takes a risk by following her friends and her crush over the Barrier one night, her entire world unravels. Her web of friends and family are missing, dead, or infected, and the only answers and hope seem to lie beyond the Barrier. Despite her fear, Gabry must decide what risks are worth it to survive, both emotionally and physically.

In some ways, this book excels its predecessor. Ryan's writing was strong in the first novel, but it's even better this time. First-person, present-tense can be a difficult style to use, but Ryan does it well with writing that is descriptive and evocative. The protagonist, Gabry, is very relatable, and characters are more well-defined in this book. Sense of place is strong, as is pacing; Ryan doesn't hesitate to take the reader into dark action in the first 30 pages and doesn't ease up after that. Relationships between characters feel real, and the romantic/sexual tension is palpable and aching. The story also allows the reader to know what happened to Mary, even if it's decades later, and questions are answered about the mythology of the Mudo/Unconsecrated. Like the first book, the novel explores complex issues, including the purpose of life, the repercussions of one's actions, and the selflessness of real love. Differently, though, the reader is left with more hope for the characters.

In other ways, however, the book wasn't as good as the first. Some plot points felt recycled, like the repetition of dangers, the need to flee, and the love triangle. Having read the first book, there was also a certain predictability that nothing would turn out well. There's a lot of death and destruction, and some of the main characters engage in or silently condone some very bothersome or violent actions. The story finished with little closure and an obvious cliffhanger ending to set up the sequel.

All in all, though, this was another dark, gripping read from Ryan, and I look forward to the continuation of Gabry's story in the next installment. Though it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH first. There are a few clues and poignant moments along the way that won't resonate unless you've read the first book.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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Jenny I had the Forest of Hands and Teeth from the library with some other books and I had to return it before I got a chance to read it! I am glad to know you liked it...I will have to put it on hold again!


Angela Yes, you should totally read BOTH of them when you get the chance. They're definitely a lot darker and depressing than other stuff out there, but there's a point to it, which I appreciate. Whenever you read FOREST, let me know what you think!


Jenny I also have finished Dard Divine, but haven't had time to write the review yet...loved it though!


Angela Glad you loved The Dark Divine too! I'm looking forward to the sequel that should be out at the end of the year. The author recently announced the title of it, which will be The Lost Saint.


Jenny Duh...I can't believe I spelled Dark with a "D" at the end...I am not usually such a dork! Review coming soon! I have been really busy this week!
I heard about The Lost Saint. I don't want to wait for it to come out!
Did I ask you if you ever read The Hourglass Door?


message 6: by Angela (last edited Mar 18, 2010 03:14PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angela Oh, don't worry about the typo! I know you can spell; it just our silly fingers that can't always type. :) And I can't wait for The Lost Saint either!

No, I haven't heard or read The Hourglass Door. Would you recommend it?


Jenny I loved it...She is a local author that lives in my area and I think a goodreads author too. I won the book on a goodreads giveaway. I met her and got the book signed, which was fun. The book has an aspect of the supernatural, although everyone is human (sort of). Great love story and the "big" thing in the book brings in some historical aspects and people. It is not a perfect book...it is her first...but the story is compelling and fun to read...total brain candy. The sequel, The Golden Spiral, comes out in May. I also love Maggie Stiefvater. Have you read Shiver?


Angela I'll definitely try to check it out then, meaning The Hourglass Door. Unfortunately, my local library system doesn't have a copy, but they're typically good about Interlibrary Loan and finding things.

My response to your question about Maggie Stiefvater and Shiver will appear in my email response to you that I'm working on now! :)


Jenny If you can't find it anywhere, I could send it to you. I have two copies, because my daughter wanted her own! ;-D


Angela Oh, thank you for your generous offer! My library system is really, really good about finding things (even obscure things) via Interlibrary Loan, so I don't think it will be a problem. I'll keep your offer in mind if it becomes a problem though! :)


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