The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth companion book
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.
When I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I was impressed, really impressed by Carrie Ryan's zombie apocalypse and the realism of her world. What struck the deepest chord with me was that it did not have the happy frou-frou, "oh, the world is ending, but we all fall in love and live happily ever after...laa laa laa" ending that most YA paranormals have. This was a true ending. There was hope, yes, and happiness, but it was REAL.
I was stoked when I found out that Ryan was putting out a companion book. I had hoped, but it would have been fine if The Forest of Hands and Teeth was a stand-alone. I was so happy when I finished The Dead-Tossed Waves. As pleased as I was finishing the first, I was ecstatic devouring the second!
Again, the main character was real...flawed, scared, questioning, but also brave, moral, and full of love. Gabry is not brave like her mother, Mary (mc of book 1). She does not feel a pull to leave the safety of her sheltered life...until she is drawn out by the boy she's admired from afar. Once she has broken beyond the barrier, though, she may be continually terrified, but she pulls through for the ones she loves. Her adventures again just felt ultimately real to me.
I love the tone of these books. I love the Mudo and the Breakers. I love the way that Ryan effortlessly questions religion, morality, love, family relationships, government...essentially all of society. In The Forest of Hands and Teeth, the book was about strength, questioning, and because of Mary's background, the book's tone was somber, quiet, but resilient. In The Dead-Tossed Waves, action reigns, passion abounds, and horomones sometimes rule. As the younger generation, raised in a non-religious environment, become the focus of the story, more of the world comes into focus.
Having seen the government structure that this society was able to build, becoming attached to Gabry and her love (trying not to give spoilers here!!), and learning some very important things about Mary's past, I cannot wait to jump back into this world whenever Ryan puts out book 3!