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.
Carrie Ryan strikes gold again in this companion novel to ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’. ‘The Dead-Tossed Waves’ follows Mary’s daughter, Gabrielle (known as Gabry) on her own journey retracing her mother’s footsteps from the ocean back into the Forest of Hands and Teeth. I loved all the little references to the first book- Gabry’s name, for example! However, an epic journey isn’t the only thing she shares with her mother. She’s also got two guys on her plate: her childhood crush Catcher versus the new, mysterious Elias. Although Gabry was often fickle when it came to the guys (at one point it seemed like she got more kissing done than a kissing booth volunteer) and a little mopey, she did get things done in the end.
Although the plot itself was just as captivating as that of the first installment, what I really loved about this was the questions it asked about life and death, about living and just surviving. Just as ‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ had a subplot dealing with radical religion, ‘The Dead-Tossed Waves’ tackles social and political elements during a crisis, though cult religions make another appearance.
For those of you who are nervous about reading a book that deals with zombies- so was I. In actual fact, I really dislike the zombie trend and other books that have capitalized on it, but these are a little different to your average zombie novel- a lot more philosophical, to be sure. You don’t have to read the two books in order, but I think it makes for a much more rewarding experience- book two definitely gives us an insight into the Mudo. That said, by writing another book Ms. Ryan gave us a whole lot more questions than answers: there’s still a lot I want to know, and the ending was very vague. So take pity on us, Ms. Ryan, and please write an installment with a definite ending, or we’ll be forced to presume that we’re not the only ones with unanswered questions!