Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Genre: post-apocalyptic, science fiction
Series and Book #: Forest of Hands and Teeth #3
Pages: 374

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning that Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah—can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?


I feel like this novel is the most honest of Carrie Ryan's. There are less lies and a deeper understanding of the main character. Annah is emerging to be one of my favorite  heroines for her brutal honesty and strong personality.

Part of Annah's personality reminds me of a snippet from a poem.  In Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise", Maya says, "Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?  Shoulders falling down like teardrops.  Weakened by my soulful cries."  Most of Annah's story revolves around her being left behind by the ones she loves; therefore, she's built up boundaries for herself. But still there is this fiercely protective part of her that comes out when she sees them in danger.  She's careful not to get too close to anyone but her heart is so pure and her intentions so kind that she can't help but feel sympathy for those that she meets.  She's one of those characters that you want to feel pity for but instead you feel intense pride because she's a capsule of strength and determination.

Once again Ryan's post-apocalyptic world is scary enough to rattle your bones. Her descriptions of the death and destruction of our world after the Plague is vivid enough that you heart could race if you hear even the slightest resemblance of a moan. This is one of the main consistencies that I've noticed in her writing. The terrible, destructive world she's crafted for her characters is so hopeless but it gives birth to beautiful strength and courage.

Overall, this is another dark novel that remains hopeful until the very end. Though death is a key instrument Ryan uses, life is the message she's trying to speak through the vocal characters she places on the pages. I love her books and I can't wait to see if she has anything more waiting for us!

The Cover: Filthy, dark, and desolate. I like it!

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