The Dead-Tossed Waves, by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves is the sequel to Carrie Ryan's 2009 novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and it's just as cheery as its predecessor—which is to say, not even remotely. Ryan's second book features many of the same plot elements as her first: a tortured and slightly implausible love triangle, a perilous quest, and zombies.

Lots of zombies.

While The Forest of Hands and Teeth focused on Mary, a teenage girl from an isolated village dominated by a religious order and surrounded by zombies, its sequel features Mary's daughter, sixteen-year-old Gabrielle. Gabrielle has been raised in the well-protected oceanside town of Vista, living with Mary in the local lighthouse. But when a night of teenage rebellion leaves most of her friends either dead or imprisoned, Gabry is forced to leave the safety of the town behind and venture into the same zombie-infested forest that nearly killed her mother.

Ordinarily, we would be critical of a second series installment that so closely mirrored the first, but the familiarity of Ryan's plotline is offset by several fun new additions to her post-apocalyptic world, including a ruthless militia organization, a handful of people that seem immune to the zombies' bite, and—our personal favorite—a group of zombie-worshiping cultists who march around pulling de-jawed zombies on leashes. (That's an image that's really going to stick, you know?) And while the ending of The Dead-Tossed Waves is a smidge more optimistic than then ending of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, it left us just as eager for a sequel. Sooner or later—we hope, anyway—Ryan is bound to give at least one of her characters an uncomplicated happily-ever-after*, and we want to be there to see it.

*It doesn't even have to be a central character. We're not picky.

[Review based on publisher-provided copy.]
Posted by: Julianka


05 Mar, 2010 01:46 AM @ version 0

"...a group of zombie-worshiping cultists who march around pulling de-jawed zombies on leashes."
That line and the desperate tone of your optimism for some character to get an "uncomplicated happily ever after" together now make me want to read these books.

05 Mar, 2010 02:43 AM @ version 0

And we're even grading on a curve, here--we don't ask that they end up in a Disney movie, we just want them to... y'know, not die desperate and alone.

Or gnawed upon.

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