Friday, 17 September 2010
Review: The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Carrie Ryan's sensational new novel reveals more of the secrets of the world after the return of the Unconsecrated and introduces a new heroine who must tangle with her mother's secrets. Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known and, and all she needs for happiness. But life after the Return is never safe and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back. Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but, like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling. One night beyond the Barrier . . . One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery . . . One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.
I actually read this months ago and just haven't got around to writing the review *am dreadful*. I managed to pick up a copy shortly after finishing The Forest of Hands and Teeth in the library. I walked in for a browse, was just about to leave with nothing when I turned to find the book staring at me from a display stand. How excited was I. I never expected the library to have it the week it was published, you can imagine my excitement and seeing the library stamp go on that shiny new page *bliss*.
This time the book is written from the perspective of Gabry. Gabry is roughly the same age as Mary was in TFHT but a completely different personality altogether. She doesn't crave freedom from the barriers that surround the village in order to keep the 'mudo' out. Comparatively, she views them as a symbol of security, something which she embraces fully. All she wants from life is to feel safe. As the book progressed we discover the relationship between Gabry and Mary; I found myself comparing them finding they both had very selfish/self-centred traits, not thinking how their actions would affect others. I tried to put myself in their position to imagine how I would act, I wasn't successful.
She regards the other teenagers in her village with incredulity, finding their need to put themselves in danger in order to have fun as idiotic. She feels that they take their safety for granted. Of course, she is proved right.
Images of the movie I Am Legend kept running through my head with the comparison in the plot.
The storyline is dramatic, even shocking in parts; tying together the first book with the sequel seamlessly. There is no getting away from the fact that you have to read this series in order or you wont understand the intricacies of the plot. The descriptions are dynamic and sensory; I had the feeling I could feel/smell/touch/taste/hear all of the action (not necessarily a good thing when talking about zombies, lol). I was totally immersed in the narrative. At times my body would go rigid with the tension emanating from the pages. The tension was palpable making my heart race, I even held my breath in parts. My stomach literally flipped at the 'soulers' ceremony.
There are ingenious parallels within the narrative. The idea that nowhere is safe and maybe they should return to the forest (its the ocean every-time for me). Also the parallel imagery conjured by the description of Mary and Gabry in the waves compared to the photograph of Mary's Grandmother and Mother was inspired.
I particularly liked the philosophical debate between Elias and Gabry with regard to the soul and life after death. Including the retention of our memories and feelings. What happens to our memories when we die? \Do we carry them with us onto another life/ Do they no longer exist/ Or do they live on through others? The interpretation we can gain from this debate in relation to the 'mudo' is that the body is a vessel, upon death the soul leaves the body. the soul being the essence of who we are. Therefore, the 'mudo' are just empty (very scary, flesh eating) vessels that once contained a soul.
The inclusion of Shakespeare sonnets was brilliant, the death imagery was open to interpretation depending on the situation. Genius.
Overall a fantastic adrenaline filled book. I have to admit that at the time of reading this it had not been announced that there was to be a third book. Immediately upon finishing the book, I emailed Carrie Ryan asking if there was to be a third book. It was a compulsive need to have resolution of all aspects of the plot. I will be honest and I am a big fan of happy ending. Is there a chance that we could get a happy ending in a zombie apocalypse???