Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves

by Carrie Ryan

Dedication: "To Roberta Hatch the light on the horizon that means home. To Douglas Keith Kidd for loving her, and all of us, so much. And to love at first sigh (and Chiquita bananas)"

First paragraph: "The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of the before time. When they didn't have to worry about people rising from the dead, when they didn't have to build fences and walls and barriers to protect themselves from the masses of Mudo constantly seeking human flesh. When the living weren't forever hunted."

Review: A short while ago I read and reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth. You may recall me mentioning how much I loathe zombies and yet, for some strange reason, I really enjoyed that book. This book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, is the companion book to that one. The main character from the previous book is the mom to the main character of this one. There are a few slight references to the book and it sort of made me sad/excited when I caught on to them.

While the previous book focused on Mary finding out answers and dreaming of finding the ocean, this book focuses on Gabrielle's life. All she's ever known has been a lighthouse and her mother's love. She's felt safe and secure and has never had any desire to look beyond the barrier. She leaves the bravery and heroics to others, to her friends. Until one night when her whole world comes crashing down around her and she's forced to discover who she really is and all she is capable of becoming.

This book was great. The zombies, aka Mudo, aka Unconsecrated, were freaky as always but I think I'm building up a tolerance to them. I was able to read it late at night without getting freaked out. Gabrielle, or Gabry for short, is not a strong, fearless character. She's really weak and pitiful at times, but she always real. She's whiny and selfish and can't figure out what she wants but Ryan figures out a way to make this a good thing. She makes Gabry very relate-able. If there were "Mudo" lurking around nowadays, I'd definitely be a Gabry. Especially the girl at the beginning of the story who didn't care about what was past the barrier as long as I got to go to bed warm and fed and safe each night.

Without giving too much away, there was one detail, one thing I couldn't wrap my mind around. I couldn't see her doing. I still can't quite understand why it was in the book. I think Ryan could have carried on the story and left it out but I guess she felt that that moment was critical for Gabry. Although, I don't feel like she wrote enough about Gabry's emotions to justify the act.

Other than that the story was well done. There is a lot of stuff that happens that is really unexpected. I was constantly taken by surprise with the twists that Ryan threw in. Also, unfortunately, I discovered that Ryan really likes to leave her stories hanging. She gives you closure, but not really. I can't really explain it except to say, I really hope things work out for my favorite characters. The fact that I care enough to write that sentence says enough to me. It's an emotionally engaging story and it is well worth the read. ... Assuming you can get passed the fact that there are ZOMBIES. Mwahahaha.

Alright. I'm done. But seriously. Read it. It's a chick-flick with lots of action.

Click here for Carrie Ryan's Website on The Dead-Tossed Waves.

If you click that link, watch the book trailer. I love book trailers. They're always so ... cheesy/dramatic and the acting is so awful but they're definitely good for a laugh.

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