Written by: Carrie Ryan
Pages: 407 (Hardcover)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She's content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry's mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother's past in order to save herself and the one she loves.
Buy the Paperback: if you've read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, know that, in a nutshell, this is essentially the same story, only kind of backwards (from the ocean to the forest); Gabry's a very weak character who lacks the selfish drive that Mary had, and while that made Mary a bit infuriating, at least we never lacked for forward motion. Not so with Gabry. She's a reactor, someone who'd rather hide and cry than actually take action, and it makes it exceptionally difficult to root for her. If you didn't like The Forest of Hands and Teeth, don't bother with this, because it's a weaker book anyway. If you did like it, know that while the plot is very repetitive and the heroine isn't as compelling, we do learn more about the world in which these characters inhabit. We learn a little more about the Sisterhood, we learn what makes some Infected turn psycho-fast whereas others are bumbling and slow. We learn about the world outside of the Forest, and there' s some imagery, especially at the end, that's just freaking awesome (it relates to the title). The end does end on a kind of cliffhanger, in that it doesn't make you go "OMG, now what?!?!?!" but it's not a resolved book, so you know there's more story around the corner.
No, you don't have to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth to read this. But doing so will give this book more layers, but will also expose the flaws of this book in much greater detail. I'll still read Ryan's next offering, but with quite a lot of caution.
Review style: You're getting the good, the bad, and the ugly of this book. Yes, there are spoilers, but if you don't mind or you've already read the book, feel free to hop over to my LJ for the full review. There's also a long rant about the change of cover art direction, and a cover war poll. :) As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Carrie Ryan's THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES
DON'T MISS OUT: You also have a chance to win one signed copy of Maria V. Snyder's INSIDE OUT. To enter, click here. Deadline to enter: 4/27
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson
June: Sunshine by Robin McKinley