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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Born At Midnight (Goodreads/Amazon)

From the Library:
A Spy in The House by Y.S. Lee (Goodreads/Amazon)
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (Goodreads/Amazon)

Thanks to: Blkosiner's Book Blog

A pretty OK week for me! Sorry I haven't had any time to post. Don't expect much from me this week either- I'll be out of town for most of it. I'll try to get one review up, though.

What was in your mailbox this week?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Awakened by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Title: Awakened (Goodreads/Awakened)
Author: P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: Jan. 4 2011
Other Titles In Series:

Goodreads Summary:

At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey—or her relationship with her super- hot Warrior, Stark—ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet—who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality—and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

My Review:

I cannot give you a concise reason why I continue to read this series. I'm so sick of it, and sometimes I feel like throwing my book across the room, because nothing new ever seems to happen. There hasn't been a new plot development since Kalona in book 4 or 5! I checked Awakened out from the library with not much of an intention in reading it (because my TBR pile is huge!) but I found myself getting sucked in anyway!

The House of Night books aren't terrible. I enjoy them, I just feel like there's so many of them that they should end sometime soon. Awakened didn't do that much for me- it was certainly entertaining and I enjoyed revisting old characters I'd loved, but it lacked an aire of mystery of intrigue in regards to the plot. I think because we get to see from every character's POV we know what they're all up to and it takes away from the mystery or suspense of what the "bad guys" are planning, since we see them plan also.

There were some sad tragic moments in this book though! But it almost seems like they were thrown in there just because nothing else was happening, so the deaths would perk the readers attention again. The death at the beginning (whose name I wouldn't mention for fear of spoilers- but I will say it was a main-ish character) seemed pointless and only thrown in there for tears sake, not to add to the plot.

There are other vampire series I'd recommend before this one... but if you like your vampire series, you should try House of Night. Start at the beginning- the first ones are a lot better. I also want to note I think these books should only be read by the more mature spectrum of YA readers, as there is frequent strong language and a lot of implied sexual content. That's one thing that's bugged me a little throughout the whole series, though I guess it doesn't bother everyone.

3 out of 5 stars