Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

I keep finding myself reviewing books that are already far along in a series. This is the third and final book in Ryan’s trilogy. But truthfully, this is the kind of story that never ends. I could keep reading way past when this books finishes.  And each of Ryan’s books could stand alone. However, I recommend reading them in order because that way you will already care for some of the characters who might not mean much to you later.
The series brings together all sorts of things I love: dystopia, love triangles, zombies, philosophical questions about life and death, and drama. Where can you go wrong? The first book made me go “Wow!” mostly because it felt like a mixture of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, the movie “The Village,” and a cheaply made zombie flick. And you’d think that all of those combined would be bad…it wasn’t. Well, it kind of was, but it was so much fun!
The second book was not as good as the first. The whole “We might be it,” concept the village presented in book 1 was not there in book 2, and the characters were not quite as interesting. However by the end of book 2, the concept “Some people may be immune” was introduced, which left me finishing it with almost as much awe as from finishing the first book.
Adding to my list of things I love, book 3 also has twins and an urban fantasy feel! Book 2: The Dead-Tossed Waves, introduced Gabry a girl found in the forest by Mary (leading lady from book 1: The Forrest of Hands and Teeth). Gabry eventually learns that she has a twin she was separated from as a young child, and book 2 ends with Gabry’s search for her sister. Book 3 is in the point of view of that sister: Annah.
Most of this book takes place in the Dark City. And before anyone gets their hopes up that a whole city can survive a zombie apocalypse, it can’t forever. Annah has given up waiting for Elias, the boy she grew up with after abandoning her twin in the forest. And just as she is leaving the city for something better, she finds her sister coming in. From that point on, this book is one giant action sequence. Between zombie hordes, the annihilation of an entire city, hot air balloon rides, underground subway chase scenes, gladiator/Hunger Games style zombie versus human caged fights, sacrifices, illnesses, first and second loves, and all the close calls on getting raped and attacked by humans, getting bitten almost seems the least of Annah’s problems.
With all the wonderful plot twists, it is remarkable that Ryan is even capable of having anything serious to say, but she does. So much of this book deals with ethics and choice and the reasons people chose what they do. This was a great conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. And I don’t’ want to love the ending too much because then more books will most likely be announced. But like I said in the beginning, the story could definitely continue. It’s just that I love that it ends with the few survivors coming to work together for something better. It ends with hope, a hope that seems impossible, but a hope that’s there nonetheless, like the hope that’s there for any survivor. I give it a 9/10.


  1. I know you loved these, but I hated them. The characters drove me crazy. The main character in both one and two spends the first half of the book complaining about how she can't get the guy she wants and the spends the rest of the book complaining that she's got him. Realistic perhaps, but definitely annoying to me.

    That said, you almost talked me into reading it. But I won't. Nope. Not happening, especially since I also hated her short story in Zombies vs. Unicorns.

  2. I think you'd like this one the best though, Christina. The main character is so much better! She's not so stuck between two guys. And she doesn't complain about her love either! You make a good point about that aspect in both the first two books. But, that stuff didn't get in the way of me loving all the other stuff!

  3. A+ would read again. Bought for my Nook