Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Dark and Hollow Places (Goodreads/Amazon)
Author: Carrie Ryan
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: March 22 2011
Other Books In Series:
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
The Dead-Tossed Waves

Goodreads Summary:
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 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 than 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 covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

My Review:

The final installment in Carrie Ryan's zombie trilogy did not disappoint, though I don't think it quite lived up to the full awesomeness of it's predecessor.

The strength of this series is the realness of the characters. I really liked Annah- she was strong enough to survive in The Dark City (aka New York as seen in I Am Legend with a few more humans and just as many zombies), and yet she was fragile about her appearance and her scarred face as any girl would be. Though it was a little strange seeing how she hated Gabry, who I've come to know and appreciate after being in her head in The Dead-Tossed Waves.

Here's what I didn't like about this book- and I apologize that I talk about this a lot in reviews- it lacked an engaging plot. I felt like the book dragged on and didn't really go anywhere, even by the end. There were a couple of action scenes, a pretty good romance (I've always loved Catcher, even in the previous book), but that's about it in terms of the plot.

The tone of this book is very dark- the whole world is taken over by zombies- and the whole time I felt like there really was no hope. Carrie Ryan did an amazing job portraying the feeling of aloneness this futuristic world, but I never really felt more than that desolateness. This book lacked other emotions, maybe even the whole series did. It was hard to root for Annah (even though I was) when nobody in the book had hope for the situation and it never really got better. The end was a disappointment just because I knew it was the end of the series and it still left us with hardly any resolution to a solution to any problem. Some people might disagree with me here, or at least that this was bad, but that's how I felt upon the conclusion. It's not like I think every book has to have a happy ending, but I think the ending should mean something more. Also, if you're looking for cheery books, this is not the way to go.

I still liked it a lot though. The characters, world, and emotions were beautifully created. Read this book if you're a fan of Carrie Ryan's previous books. It might not be neccesary to read them first, but I'd recommend it. My favorite of the three is still The Dead-Tossed Waves. I wish we could've got a better resolution to the zombie infested world (or Carrie Ryan would just write us more!).

Cover: 5/5 Creepy but perfect!

4 out of 5 stars


  1. Interesting. A different review. I have only read the first book and haven't been brave enough to pick up the next one. I was waiting for the series to end and read DTW and them together.
    I hate when there is a series that you follow for years that doesn't have a real conclusion. I don't see why it's dragged out then. Not that everything has to be neat and tidy but after three years of reading answers are good.
    Great review. I'll be better prepared when I start them.

  2. I've only read the first two books, but I have to agree they're far from cheery. Very desolate-- that's a good word for it. I do really enjoy the writing and the post-apocalyptic world, though. I'm glad Dark and Hollow Places is just as creepy and good, though I'll be prepared for that lack of a real ending. (Too bad!) Anyway, thanks for the review. :)

  3. Nice review, kinda skimmed it cause I still haven't read the first one in this series.


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