Book Review Wednesday: The Dead Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth 2) by Carrie Ryan

Posted: May 27, 2015 in Book Reviews
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Here’s a link to my review for the first book in this series:…-teeth-5-stars/

Years have passed and we have a new pov character who this book is about, Mary’s daughter. So don’t come into this book all amped up from Forest of Hands and Teeth, expecting to see more of Mary’s adventures. Though we do hear about a few of them.

I knew going into it that this was about a new character with a whole new story, but it still felt like there was this huge gap. I wanted to know what happened to the others from the first book. There was so much going on and it just ended. Gah.

As some small consolation we do get to find out some of what Mary has been up to these past years. I guess it’s just something to add to the heartbreak of the first book. Mary didn’t get a happy ending. She found the place she dreamed about, but she lost her family. She couldn’t have both.

Though I still don’t understand why she couldn’t find them. She knew those fences better than anyone. So how could they find their way around in there and she couldn’t?

Well. Moving on. Once I (mostly) got over the broken pieces from the last book staying broken, I started to enjoy this one. There’s a lot to like. The parallells between the stories is pretty cool. The first book is about a bold girl in a timid community. She knows what she wants, and when she gets the chance she goes to get it.

The second book is about a timid girl in a relatively bold community. She’s the last one behind the kids when they sneak out. She doesn’t know what she wants. It takes her life crashing down around her to force her to get out of her comfort zone and find out.

Here’s the blurb:

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.

We get to find out a bit more about the world of Forest of Hands and Teeth – outside of the actual forest. There are people who worship the dead and do really creepy rituals that give me the heebie jeebies just thinking about them. I don’t think I’d want to join their group.

There’s also a creepy army type group that spend a large proportion of this book chasing around our main characters which consist of: timid main pov girl, her crush, his sister who happens to be her best friend, and mysterious guy who doesn’t talk a lot but stares a whole heck of a lot. He starts off creepy as well, but grows on her and the reader as the book goes on.

So, a whole lot of creepy people in one book. Well, it is a zombie book I guess.

The writing itself is pretty and smooth. The characters are interesting, the plot action packed, and the world building is beyond interesting. The pure scale of the dead is horrifying, but it does make sense. If most of the world died and turned into zombies – the type of zombies that could go about their shambling way for decades – then you could have millions of dead with only a very small percentage of living people left.

Not a good world to take a stroll anywhere. Though the fenced forest paths from the first book seem safer than most and make another big appearance this book.

This book did have another love triangle. I hate love triangles. I did have to grit my teeth a couple times, but the love triangle in this book was relatively free of woe, manipulation and whining. Not completely free, but more or less.

(The love thing was actually kind of confusing. She starts off with a solid crush on one guy, while the other guy is dubbed creepy. She gives up her life to save her crush. Then comes the developing attraction for now not so creepy guy which leads to ‘which one’ feelings. Then comes her decision which seems to be out of the blue and made up in less than a second.)

There are a lot of brilliant moments that make gritting your teeth through love triangles worth it. There’s one moment at the very end where our girl and the (guy she didn’t choose) have to do something that I can’t explain fully because of spoilers. But it needed her to trust him with her life – literally. One wrong move from him, or her – even a tiny slip – and she would be dead. My heart was hammering reading that bit. So good.

For more reviews on this book go to:


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