Wednesday, 27 July 2011

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (3.5/5)

The back says: Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She’s content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse.

Home is all she’s ever known and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can’t hold back.

Gabry’s mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth but, like the dead in their world, secrets don’t stay buried. And now, Gabry’s world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier…

One boy Gabry’s known forever and one veiled in mystery…

One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.

Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she had any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother’s past.

I say: I can’t even know what to say about this that’s any different from what I had to say about the first book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I pretty much had the exact same problems with the writing; it goes from boring to action to boring to action on a continuous loop – there’s hardly any middle ground, and I really don’t like that. Thus not stating that I need a novel to have a huge build-up to one great action scene, but Ryan’s writing is just so uneven I became less and less interested as it progressed. It’s like when you’re watching a bad thriller and you hear the music get louder as things move in slow motion and then…

(dun dun dun)

it’s just a shadow.

Over and over again.

The plot is an entirely different issue. I just have no idea what is going on with this book. It’s only 400 pages and yet Ryan manages to cram in so much action and plot twists and love affairs or non-love affairs and abandonment and imprisonment and death and life and

it’s. Just. So. Exhausting.

And here’s why: everything happens in one go. And then nothing happens for a few pages and then another jillion things happen.

But I’m repeating myself [oh, the irony].

What’s good about this sequel is that it introduces some new and interesting characters. Some of the plot is interesting, especially everything about the Return and how the ‘disease’ came about. To be honest, that’s the main reason I’ll keep reading because, of course, there’s a third book out now, The Dark and Hollow Places, which will, no doubt, follow the same formula. The annoying thing, for lack of a better expression, is that when it’s good it’s really good, but when it’s not it’s…

well, not.

Either way, I’ve asked the library to order it for me (and everyone else, I guess, but I get to read it first - huzzah), so it’ll probably be another couple of weeks for them to laminate it and such. I really want to like these books because I love the premise, but there's just so much drama.

Less drama and more answers, please.

Aside: It’s really hard for me to invest in these books because Ryan writes such utter spoilers all over the place. Her plot twists are more like soap opera twists, and I’m sincerely hoping that The Dark and Hollow Places is the last book. However, since it doesn’t say anything on her website about the third book being the last, methinks there might be more.

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