The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

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The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Loralei Haylock
Reviewed by Loralei Haylock
Summary: At times a bit samey, but still lyrical, with engaging characters, a fascinating world and brave exploration of the most horrific elements of human nature.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: April 2010
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN: 978-0575090897

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Gabry has lived her whole life behind the safety of the Barrier, in the seaside town of Vista. She isn't keen to venture past it, to explore the remains of an old amusement park, but Gabry is drawn by the allure of Catcher, her best friend Cira's brother. Cira and the others are sure they will be safe from the Mudo – the shambling undead that plague the world Gabry lives in. Gabry decides to risk it, and her whole world is turned upside down.

In one moment, half of Gabry's generation are dead, or undead, the other half captured, about to be shipped off to the Recruiters for the crime of going over the Barrier. The Recruiters are a death sentence – two years spent fighting against the Mudo. Nobody knows Gabry was with them that night. Plagued by guilt, Gabry can't say no to Cira when she asks her to venture over the Barrier once more. But if Gabry is ever going to save her friends and the boy she thinks she might love, she'll have to trust in mysterious Elias, and face the Forest of her mother's past.

The Dead-Tossed Waves picks up some years after its predecessor, The Forest of Hands and Teeth left off, with Mary's daughter Gabry picking up the narrative. Gabry is a completely different character to her feisty mother – much more timid and afraid, but it's not detrimental to the story. Nor is the fact that it is essentially the same story – a love triangle. With zombies.

Ryan's writing strengths are her world building, and her bravery in dealing with the most horrific elements of human nature. The love triangle drama is, at times, tedious, as Gabry swings from one unattainable boy to the other, but you can forgive that for the incredible ideas Ryan has about life after the Zombie Apocalypse. A particular highlight is the introduction of Soulers – a religious cult that worships the undead as a path to eternal life.

While The Dead-Tossed Waves isn't as good as its predecessor, this is more to do with it not being new enough than any lapse in quality. The prose remains lyrical and emotional, the characters engaging and the world both spectacular and devastating, but the story takes the reader down familiar paths. Literally. The fenced off paths through the Forest

When The Dead-Tossed Waves deals with new places and new people, it is a brilliant book, but a little too much of it was comfortable and samey. Still, a book not quite as good as an excellent one is still very good, and I certainly recommend it to any teens fans of the supernatural/romance genre. No doubt there will be a third in the series, and hopefully Ryan will stray away from the Forest and explore the wider horizons of her truly fascinating world.

My thanks to the publisher for sending a copy.

Fans of zombies should check out You Are So Undead To Me by Stacey Jay, and The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan is another great Urban Fantasy for teens.

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Buy The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan at


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