Thursday, March 25, 2010

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves, Carrie Ryan

Mary is the keeper of the lighthouse, decapitating the Unconsecrated that wash up on the shore at high tide. Her daughter, Gabry (short for Gabrielle), is now fifteen and hears her friends talking longingly of life in the Dark City. But Gabry is happy where she is. And safe. But nothing is safe after the Return, and one rash night changes everything. To discover her mother's secrets, Gabry is going to have to leave all she knows behind her, and enter the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, The Forest of Hands and Teeth (2009). I found it thrilling and beautifully written. One thing did frustrate me, however: not knowing what the Sisters "did" to Gabrielle to turn her into the Fast One. Mary's stubborn need to get to the ocean niggled at me as well. It seemed rather flimsy motivation to get through the forest.

But when it comes to The Dead-Tossed Waves, I'm thoroughly satisfied. This is one of the most exciting second-in-the-series books I have ever read. The opening is breath-taking, set amidst a rusting, crumbling amusement park on the other side of the Barrier in the middle of the night. It is just begging to be filmed. Begging. If I was a producer I would scrap filming the first book entirely and start with the second. It's just that good.

I have often said that I am sick to death of love triangles. I loathe them. But from now on I'll add a clause: I'm sick of love triangles unless Carrie Ryan writes them. (And perhaps Aprilynne Pike, but I'll reserve my judgment for once I've read Spells.) The love triangle in The Dead-Tossed Waves is delicious and layered. It serves a purpose, to elucidate Gabry's torn affections towards her home and her mother, as well as an entertaining romance in its own right.

The horror element has been kicked up a notch in this sequel. There are a handful of genuinely gruesome scenes that set it apart, yet again, from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. There are so few YA books of a supernatural theme that contain actual frightening elements. If you're at all inclined towards horror and enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth, this is a YA book for you.

The Dead-Tossed Waves is available in Australia from April 10.


  1. I finished this book today. I. Loved. It. Every delicious second of it. I've now lost sleep from BOTH of Carrie Ryan's books--because I haven't been able to put them down!

  2. A beautiful review, but I still don't think I'm going to continue with this series. I couldn't finish FOHAT (I know, I know, what is wrong with me?). And Wings? lol, I'm going to assume you probably know my feelings about that book. :P I liked reading your review, though, to see what it is about this series that has everyone so hyped.

  3. I'm so glad to hear you liked this. I really loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth (despite a few unanswered questions and a patch where the story seemed to stall) because the horror element was so palpable. Sounds like it's even better this time around. I just adore the sound of the crumbling amusement park setting too. There's no way I'm missing this one.

  4. I can't read your review yet, as I'm only through disc one (listening while I run errands)and don't want to know anything more. I can say I'm so glad Mary figures into this story.

    Love the Australian cover.

  5. I am so glad to hear this one expands nicely on the series rather than falling flat. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  6. Are you serious, dude? Aprilynne Pike?

    Great review of Carrie Ryan's No 2 thoguh...mine should be up early next week. We'll compare notes.


  7. Hee hee. Best line in this entire review?

    "But from now on I'll add a clause: I'm sick of love triangles unless Carrie Ryan writes them."

    Love it. :)

  8. Well since everyone seems to want to talk about it, I for one LOVED Wings and can't wait for Spells.

    AND since this review is actually ABOUT Dead-Tossed Waves, I really liked Forest of Hands and Teeth! I haven't had a chance to pick this one up but I definitely plan on it. Thanks for the review!

  9. I'm definitely going to read this series. I'm not really into supernatural books but Carrie Ryan sounds like a great author. Thanks for the review.

  10. I just finished this one the other day, and absolutely loved it as well. I agree with you, that while The Forest of Hands and Teeth was good, The Dead-Tossed Waves is so much better. I'm interested to see if Carrie Ryan continues on with the series..I know I'd read more!

  11. I am very much looking forward to this book. I've read some relatively mixed reviews for it, but my interest is still high on Carrie Ryan's work. Nice review here.

  12. Sara--Glad you liked it as much as me!

    Steph--Oh SHAME on both counts! I think you'd really like TDTW. And you can probably read it without finishing the first.

    Lauren--Can't wait to see what you think!

    Caroline--I think the Aussie one is definitely the best.

    Misty--You'll love it!

    Aimee--YES I am serious! I thought Wings was so sweet.

    Heather--It's TRUE!

    L--You're welcome :)

    Natalie--My pleasure!

    Browneyedgirl--What with that cliffhanger, I am so eager to find out what happens next.

    Rabid Fox--Thank you! And I'm sure you will love it.

  13. I fully agree with your review! I loved THOHAT, but I LOVED The Dead Tossed Waves! It's rare that second books in a series are better than the original, but this one was without a doubt. I found Gabry a lot more likable than Mary, so that certainly helped. Also, I fully agree on the love triangle. Thanks to Ryan's amazing writing, it worked so well!