March 12, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known, and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.

Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier...

One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery...
One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.

Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

The Dead-Tossed Waves is apart of a trilogy, and is not a sequel but a companion book to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. If you remember I loved FHT so much that I gave it a glowing review last year. I was so excited to read this book that it's been talked about almost to death on my blog. (Yeah, sorry about that.) Unfortunately I can't really give Dead-Tossed as glowing a review. Not because I didn't like the story, but because I just didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, ever since I purchased the book I haven't been able to put it down. I brought it with me to work to read during lunch. When I came home I ate quickly so I could read it, and would spend my whole evening reading it. This book is just as gripping, just as engrossing as the FHT. I do not think anyone will be disappointed with the book.

The nit-picky things about this novel was that it felt like not much had changed from the FHT. Let me elaborate. The main character, Gabry, is the daughter of Mary. The same Mary as FHT, and thus this story is years after FHT. Unlike Mary, Gabry is not a brave character. She is constantly afraid of breaking the rules, and if she could she would have lived her entire life in the sea-side town of Vista and never looked for more. She, almost unwillingly, goes to the amusement park because of a boy. Gabry's world is constantly in flux. Consequences are constantly resulted by the one decision she, and the other teenagers, made in going beyond the Barrier. I loved this element of the story. Very NOT like Twilight where everything is wonderful for Bella and she gets everything she wants.

However, it seemed like every time some little bit of good occurred in Gabry's life a huge amount of bad would happen in return. Gabry experiences her first kiss. Immediately afterward a Breaker attacks the entire group. Infecting and killing several teenagers. I can't really say anymore without spoiling the story, but for every good thing a huge amount of bad occurred. No wonder the poor girl was so damn scared. If every time something good happened to me someone died I'd want to curl into a ball on the floor. ( For the record no, I'm not saying every time something good happens someone dies I'm just saying things to that effect happened all through out the book. I'm just using the introduction and summary as an example.)

Also even though I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this book is over 400 pages long it felt like some stuff could have progressed faster or been left out. Although I was almost always intrigued and wanting to read more. There are events in the book that could of taken less time and words to occur. Not often, but enough for me to look at the pages left and think "when is this book going to end?" Also the love triangle and Gabry's affections, which were wishy-washy at best, and constantly annoyed me. I wanted to scream at her to pick a guy and stick with him. I could excuse Mary's love-triangle wishy-washy antics in FHT a little bit, but after a while it got old. With Gabry her wishy-washy antics really got to me. Especially when she was pledging her love and devotion to one boy and then a chapter or two later doing so again with another boy.

Now these are really nit-picky things about the book. Over all the story was really well thought out and written. You could really see the work Ryan put into surprising her readers and keeping them guessing. Events happened in the book which seemed inconsequential at first but eventually came to mean a lot more down the line. Again I won't say what, but Ryan surprised me more then once. Even with one particular character who was quite minor but whose presence is a big catalyst in events that occurred later on.

Questions left at the end of book one were answered in DTW, and even the mythology was well explained and expanded throughout this book. Which is great, because a lot of people were complaining that not enough of the history was explained or mapped out in FHT. In DTW you are given two histories. One that Gabry was told since she was a child, and a second history that she learns later on. It's really up to the reader and the character to wonder which history is the right history, and what has been altered throughout time and personal perspective.

Finally, the thing that Ryan has also excelled at in this book as well as with FHT was the human element. All of the characters may have acted selfishly or unselfishly at times, but I could really understand the reasons why they did. Plus, the mother-daughter interactions between Gabry and Mary are amazingly real and sweet. This part of the story I truly loved, because you really could feel the love that Gabry and Mary have for each other in this book.

Overall if you liked the first book you'll enjoy the second. I can't wait to see how the trilogy ends.

The Boy would like to add that the author used the word "possibility" a bit gratuitously. Which I hadn't really noticed until he started to read the book and pointed it out. It was funny though!

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