Title: The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction/Dystopian
Tea: English Breakfast, a good traditional black tea, but lacking the intensity of other black teas.
Rating: 2 out of 5
*Warning Spoilers Ahead!*
After finishing The Forest of Hands and Teeth I couldn't wait to dive right into The Dead-Tossed Waves. When I read the synopsis and realized it wasn't really more of Mary's story, it was her daughter Gabry's, I was a little disappointed. I loved Mary and wanted to know more about her life, but I figured if it was as good as The Forest of Hands and Teeth, it would be okay.
The story starts with Mary's daughter, Gabry, sneaking off with her friends over a barrier that protects the town from Mudo (the names for the Unconsecrated in this book). Gabry does not have the courage that Mary does, nor the drive to see what is beyond her own backyard. Ms. Ryan starts the book off instantly with action and death at the hands (or shall I say teeth) of the Mudo. I was excited and hoped to see it move forwards like TFHT did, but sadly after the attack it started to slow down for me.
Gabry would take a step forward toward bravery, but then be too scared and turn back. It felt like it was the same thing going on over and over for awhile. Frankly one of the only reasons I kept reading was Elias, he interested me. I had to know why he looked at Gabry with such familiarity when he saw her. I had to know where he came from. Honestly other than Mary, who we see very little of in this book, he was the only character that really kept my interest.
Compared to Mary, Gabry almost seemed lifeless and I didn't feel that she would embark on an adventure to find what was beyond Vista (the town). Catcher and Cira annoyed me and just felt like they were there for filler. Even their trek through the Forest on the fenced in paths was not as interesting. Where Mary and her friends would do whatever it took to survive, whether it be sacrificing another group member or setting something on fire, this group often felt like they were just giving up and would stand and watch while maybe one person would do something about the problem.
My favorite part was when they reached the village from TFHT and found Mary and Harry, with an offspring of Argos! In this scene we learn more about the Sisterhood and the village and what happened in the past. It's thrown in a little too quickly for my taste and just brushed aside. Personally I would've loved another book from Mary's view learning this and getting more detail.
Oh yeah, at this point the "authority" from Vista is after Catcher because he is immune. Once I started the third one I see why this was put in here, but it wasn't nearly as interesting as watching them flee from the Unconsecrated (I didn't like calling them Mudo).
We also see more of Elias at this point and we learn his connection with Gabry and her *gasp!* twin sister?! Gabry's real name is Abigail and she's from the village that her (adoptive!) mother, Mary, is. She and her sister, Annah, got separated when they played on the paths with Elias. This was interesting as I would've liked to read about how these small children fared on the paths through the Forest. So many things that were just mentioned or touched upon were far more interesting that the things that I read about for pages.
And of course, in Ms. Ryan fashion, Elias gets injured just after he and Gabry confess their feelings for each other. That made me sad. He sends Gabry on to find Annah and bring them all back together.
I think that if the first book was really going to be as separate from this book as it was, the third should be from this one. To me the series felt strange. The first one could really be a standalone novel, while the second and third connect. It bothered me for some reason. This one (and the third) are completely different than the first.
These are more in the vein of the mass market dystopian books that populate the shelves today. I can see why the ratings were higher for those, considering that's what people are used to reading. It makes me sad that they don't see how fantastic and different the first one was. Maybe if I had been able to read this without reading the first one I would've enjoyed it more, but the first one just stuck with me and this (and the third, read my review) paled in comparison.
Ms. Ryan I loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth, please write more like it!