Thursday, March 26, 2015

REVIEW: The Dark and Hollow Places by: Carrie Ryan

Title: The Dark and Hollow Places
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: March 22, 2011


There are are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. 

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now its up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? 


The Dark and Hollow Places starts off almost exactly where The Dead-Tossed waves stopped except in this installment the story is told from Annah's POV.  Annah has spent the last three years waiting for Elias to come home from the Recruiters and the last decade blaming herself for leaving her twin sister Abigail (Gabry) in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. 

Annah has built walls around herself and wears her physical and emotional scars like a shroud as a way to protect herself and is so used to depending on only herself to get by that she has a hard time at letting anyone get close to her. Although she is quite broken in some areas she is such a strong, fierce, and loyal character.

Catcher is just a guarded in The Dark and Hollow Places as what he was in The Dead-Tossed Waves but you get to see a couple different sides to him. Not only is he sweet, caring, loyal and fierce but he is also at times down right scary. He becomes more vulnerable in this installment than he was in the previous one.

Elias and Gabry are both in The Dark and Hollow places but you don't get to see them as much as what you were able to in the previous installment. Gabry seems to be in more control of her emotions and whining tendencies now that she has Elias, Annah and Catcher around her. She comes off a lot stronger and able to handle more things being tossed at her at once. Elias is seen a lot less than he was in The Dead-Tossed Waves but he plays a huge part in everything that happens.

Carrie Ryan has a unique ability to grab your attention and not let go, she'll have you not wanting to let go. The action starts from the very beginning and never slows, with obstacles being thrown at the Annah and the rest of the characters left and right. 

It's an emotional roller coaster for Annah and the reader from the very first page. I found myself feeling angry, sad, and happy when she was. I was enthralled with the world that Carrie Ryan created. She was able to depict the scenes, characters, and emotions with such detail and clarity. And the character growth and development for both Annah and Catcher was phenomenal. They both went from not being able to let others love them and loving others to fiercely loving one another. 

Carrie was able to make the zombies even more menacing and terrifying.  For a gal that was unable to watch zombie films from the time she was a child up until she met her husband, you would never know it with the way she is able to describe the zombies. The passion she now has for them clearly resonates through her writing of the zombies (Unconsecrated, Mudo, Plague Rats). 

If you're into zombies and/or post apocalyptic novels then I highly recommend that you go out and get a copy of each book in this trilogy. The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves, and The Dark and Hollow Places will take you on an exciting journey filled with love, loss, helplessness, and hope. This is definitely a series that I highly recommend and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved

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