October 21, 2011

2011 Cybils: The Dark & Hollow Places, Carrie Ryan

Me and the zombies don't get along. These books have traumatized me for what seems to be forever - people die in some of the grossest ways in this series. However, this book is my favorite out of the whole series... because I am a fan of the happy ending. Is this a happy ending? Well... it's a Happy Ending For Now. And sometimes, in life, that's as good as it gets.

Reader Gut Reaction: Painful manipulations, losses and gains, romance and realism - this is a strong finish for the Forest trilogy, and readers who have followed it will really enjoy it.

Concerning Character: Annah is scarred - and as a twin who is scarred, she has lost something more than others, perhaps. She doesn't truly believe that anyone actually cares for her, but Elias rescued her, and has stuck by her since she was a little kid. Everything she does, she does with the bright spot that is Elias in her heart.

Life in the Dark City is unremittingly hard, and when Elias leaves her to join the Recruiters, who protect them all, her life simply becomes one of survival and waiting... because he's got to come back for her. Without him, there's no point in doing anything but lying down and dying.

When the Unconsecrated break through the barrier that protects the town, Annah realizes that she's waited for too long. Elias left her sister, when they were children... why did she think he was going to save again?

Maybe Elias is too busy living for her sister now - perfect and unscarred. Maybe Annah needs another hero, like Catcher, to live for. Or, maybe Annah needs figure out how to live for herself.

Recommended for Fans Of...: James Dashner's Maze Runner series - teamwork, bad choices, and worse outcomes. Plus, romance! Also, If I Stay and Where She Went.

Cover Chatter: I am not as fond of the American covers for the last two books of this series, which feature a series of Dead Girls lying vacant eyed and ...well, zombie-like. Which is fine, we gotcher zombies right here, but those Dead Girl covers tell me nothing... I like instead the symbolism of the UK covers. A flower, a shell - these work with the story. Here we see barbed wire made into a heart; Annah's scars gained by falling into razor wire being given meaning and depth. Stark simplicity, this one really works for me.

You can find THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, the very last book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, at an independent bookstore near you!


Sarah Stevenson said...

I still haven't read book 2 yet, but Forest of Hands and Teeth I thought was a pretty good read considering I'm not a huge fan of zombies, either.

Netherland said...

When I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, the first book in this series I liked it but wasn't completely convinced. Then I read the second one, The Dead-Tossed Waves, which I thought was even better than the first. And now, with The Dark and Hollow Places, I'm finding myself extremely satisfied with this series overall and very happy that I stuck with it, despite my initial trepidation.

What I love about this series is that each book deals with a different main character. The Dark and Hollow Places introduces the reader to Annah, a character with deep emotional scars to match the scarring on her body. She is in a very dark place in her heart, she is scared and hopeless and certain that she will not survive much longer. In addition, the pain she has dealt with in her life has caused her to shy away from other people, even when she has the desperate need for friendship and love. I could relate to her pain, her fear was palpable to me, and I really connected to her. While I knew that the book would be extremely dark in nature, I couldn't help but hope for a happy ending for Annah.

tanita✿davis said...

Exactly. Well put.
Annah had such a difficult life that I simply NEEDED for her to have a better ending. That flicker of light kept me going through the rest of the darkness of her circumstances.

Thanks for dropping by to comment!