Series and Book #: Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
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.
"Maybe, though, it's time we learned that we don't have to live within the boundaries we set up. Maybe we have to learn to push those barriers. To reclaim some of what was lost. And to build a new world."
-The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, pg 404
I really liked the extension of Mary's life through her daughter's. Gabry's view of the world is much different than her mother's. It's less cold and less curious. Gabry is perfectly happy to live in Vista with the people and the world she's known forever, whereas Mary still yearns for the adventure and the secrets that she left behind in the Forest. I thought Gabry wasn't quite as strong as her mother, which bugged me. She wasn't as sure and she was more clingy to what was normal. I thought Mary was a better character, too, because I saw a more personal part of her. Ryan let us see Mary though her daughter's eyes, and it was definitely different than who Mary had been in The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
Again, there were two boys who Gabry loved in this novel. But unlike Forest, Gabry had only one love at one time and wasn't switching her feelings on and off like Mary. I liked this better, because I felt it made the romantic moments more meaningful.
The scenes in the Forest were more dragged out with less adventure and less description than in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It was mostly keeping everyone going, trying to stop the inevitable, searching for Gabry's mother and any surviving villages. There was less description from Gabry's point of view. In The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Ryan described how claustrophobic the moans had been to Mary, and how her senses were full of the undead. But to Gabry, they were just an incessant noise that she wasn't used to.
Overall, though I preferred The Forest of Hands and Teeth, this novel was very thought-provoking. Gabry analyzes herself more than Mary did and through this I got a deeper connection to her thoughts. Gabry has a deeper fear of the Mudo (aka Unconsecrated) than her mother did. She's deeply affected by them because so many of her friends and loved ones have gone to the Mudo. Unlike Mary's selfishness and drive to get to the ocean, Gabry worries about who the Mudo are. Are they still human? Ryan opens more questions, and I can't wait to read more in The Dark and Hollow Places!
The Cover: Just like it's predecessor, very accurate. Love it!