Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves
Carrie Ryan
March, 2010
The Dead-Tossed Waves is Carrie Ryan’s follow up to the lyrical and moving The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the first novel The Dead-Tossed Wavesis about growing up in post-apocalyptic community constantly threatened by the presence of zombies. The novel follows Gabry and young girl in the coastal village of Vista. Vista is something of an insular community despite being under the protection of the Coalition and as a result the current generation of young adults knows next to nothing about the world before the Return. The Mudo, the zombies, are a constant threat but one so pervasive that the danger of the presence has engendered complacency rather than caution and a sort of callousness, or perhaps willful ignorance, as to the full impact of the undead presence. It is that complacency that serves as the gateway for the tragedy that propels the rest of the novel forward and sends Gabry on the run.

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Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan
Delacorte, 2010

First Line: My mother used to tell me about the ocean.

Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a post-apocalyptic bildungsroman…with zombies.  Mary is teen living in an a village surrounded by the titular forest.  The world as we know it is gone as an unexplained event  has given birth to the Unconsecrated (zombies) and hordes of undead seemed to have caused society to collapse.  Mary’s village has no contact outside the fence the protects its borders and whose values and knowledge are dictated by a stern and religious order of Sisters.   A series of events unfold and the fences are breached sending Mary and a handful of others on the run towards the desperate dream of the ocean; only half-remembered by Mary through stories her mother used to tell.

I’ll say this before I go on, since talking at length about this novel is difficult to do without some spoilers, if you’re looking for a taught, tense, and chilling tale of growing up in isolation with the constant threat of death (death that might wear a familiar face) beating on a thin fence every day then The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a novel worth checking out.

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