Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "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?"

Review:  As the final book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, I have to say that this one was a doozy.  Carrie Ryan has, what feels to me, like a subdued and subtle writing style that works more with character feelings sometimes than with the external descriptions.  This book still covered a lot of how our characters felt, but there was a lot of action.  So much so, that I often had to remember who I was reading about and try to picture where they were at.

If you're familiar with this series, you know that basically the entire country has been infected by zombies.  Each book followed a different, but connecting character that now comes together in this final book.  In this case, they are obviously somewhere like New York City, hopping from building to building to stay away from the zombies that surge through the streets, subways, and bridges below.

There is a lot of character interaction here that has them trying to look past their fears to connect with the people who are still "alive" and healthy as they are.  I'm not sure how hopeful I would be in their position, nor ready for love and companionship.  The romantic parts actually reminded me of those action films, where the building could be blowing up and the couple still finds time for a major make out session.  Maybe it's just me, but romance would be far from my mind if a bunch of non-communicative zombies were out to kill me.

I think the book was well written, with enough tie back to other books, for the three to feel put together.  I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about it.  I sometimes felt like the action went on and on until I was exhausted by it all.  I realize that's my own reading bias, but I started to wear out!  I also felt like the ending was kind of a cliff hanger.  Unless I missed something, I don't think another book will be following this, so I'm really wondering what happens to these characters.  Yes, even though all the running, jumping, and climbing exhausted me, I'm still wondering about the future!

Bottom line:  Carrie Ryan is a great writer, and I love her "turn of a phrase."  The zombie action exhausted me, but there is a lot here if you're ready for it.

*FTC Disclosure:  This review was based on a library copy of the book.


  1. Aw, come on. There's always time for romance. :)

    1. LOL. I guess so! I must be jaded, but when a blood-thirsty group of thousands of zombies are after me, I'd think the mood might not be there. :)