Tag Archive | Zombies

Book Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

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Dark and Hollow Info

Annah has been waiting over three years for Elias to return to the Dark City. She’s survived alone, taking care of herself but never forgetting about her twin sister Abigail. She’s never forgiven herself for leaving Abigail behind in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Her twin, her other half, her only family left in this Unconsecrated filled world. When finally Annah decides to leave the Dark City, on that day she sees her again, Abigail.

There’s also a horde of Unconsecrated and they’re coming and they’re unstoppable. Fighting against the dead Annah is saved by Catcher and taken to an island. It’s the only safe place left in the world. Reunited with Abigail – now Gabry, along with Elias, Annah is faced by the overwhelming notion of being trapped on the only space left not taken over by the dead. Her sister and Elias are now strangers, and Catcher is a force not to tempt despite mutual feelings growing between them. In a world where the dead don’t stay that way, how can Annah see the light in living?

I have to be honest; I wasn’t a fan from the first half. It is so much grimmer than the other two books. There is almost no hope left in this world. The fear is frightening. To imagine being stuck on an island that is a façade of safety. Where being a woman is more dangerous when it should be a blessing.

However, as I progressed through the book and pushed through the blah romance (I’m a bit over it, it’s just too…easy I guess.) I saw the bigger picture. I saw how much stronger of a character Annah is than her sister Gabry from the previous book. She’s an excellent role model. She’s brave and fights for what’s right and stands by her morals no matter what others say. She never stops going, moving, trying to survive and at the end of this series that’s the best lesson we can learn from what Ryan has written.

This series is not for those that are easily scared or hate romance. There’s so much more to these stories of characters interconnected through love and loss. I wanted to be scared by these books because I hate zombies and Ryan is brilliant at always making sure I never forgot that they will keep on hungering. For a series that will keep you turning pages wondering how everything will end, this series will keep you up at night.


The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Gabry has spent her life gazing out at the world from the safety of the lighthouse. There is no need to explore since the Return has caused the undead to stalk the living. They call them ‘mudo’ and strict precautions are taken to ensure the survival. She’s never stepped out of line, never questioned authority. Just one night is enough to change everything.

One night Gabry embarks across the barrier with her best friend Cira and her brother Catcher. It’s an opportunity for love to blossom and the mudo to attack. One night and the progression humanity has accomplished is knocked down. Now Gabry must venture past the barrier in search of her heart’s desire, but it’s only the beginning. One step turns into another and Gabry can no longer ignore the previous comfort of her life and the lighthouse.

Second books are always bit tougher to get into. I enjoyed the first book so much I didn’t want to be disappointed by expecting a lot from the second. It takes a couple of chapters for Ryan to show that this book is nothing like the second. Even with the zombie attacks there’s so much more to this world that she expands on. It’s fabulous. It got my heart racing; my hands shook as I breezed through the pages.

Slight criticism are that there is another love triangle and comes straight off of the first book it’s a bit repetitive. But then again it’s a zombie apocalypse. It’s not like finding a suitable partner is a walk in the park. I felt that the book was a bit slow, but I was pleased to learn more about this world and how people were able to successful exist. I’m holding off on the third book, I want to savour it and there are many other books I have to get through first. 

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

The world has changed and life as one knows it has reverted to a futuristic time mixed with the beauty and grace of the Victorian era. Fancy dress and high tech gadgets are the norm for seventeen-year-old Nora Dearly. The term at her finishing school has come to an end and she awaits her aunt’s carriage with patience and slight dread. Orphaned from the recent death of her father, Nora finds comfort through best friend Pamela as they venture home to New Victoria.

It was supposed to be a quiet first night back. Determined to find comfort in one of her favourite war films she shared with her father, a commotion outside derails her thoughts as the walking dead burst into her home. As Nora scampers to the roof, strangers rescue her but she’s horrified that even the handsome Bram is dead as well. Alone and surrounded by zombies, Nora must find strength within if she’s going to escape and return home.

I’ve never read anything steampunk before and I found myself pleasantly surprised how well this YA romance with zombies worked. Zombies aren’t all hungry monsters, but some have been given five years of an undead kind of life before succumbing to the final death. The idea is well executed and for those that need depth within a YA, look no further for Habel has thought of everything!

Steampunk fans will enjoy this book, and for those that don’t understand the genre will enjoy it just as must. There are excellent settings, cool gadgets and zombies falling in love. It was an exciting read that didn’t have my heart beating in fear but thrilled as I turned the pages in wonder about the fate of the characters. I can’t wait to read more from Habel and the next installment in the series.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary lives in a village where The Sisterhood rule and The Guardians keep everyone safe. Love is not encouraged, but commitment is what will keep their population alive. Mary dreams of visiting the mythical place called ‘the Ocean’ from her mother’s stories, but she’s never left the safety of village. It’s been decades since The Return, yet the Unconsecrated never stop in trying to breach the metal fence that protects the town from the unknown within the Forest.

As a childhood crush turns to love, the rules of marriage complicate Mary’s entire future. When an Outsider enters the town from the path that must never be entered, Mary sets her focus on reaching the ocean. Defying everything she knows, Mary refuses to give up on love and wondering what’s beyond the Forest. A breach in safety forces her to flee her home and explore what’s forbidden, but the Unconsecrated are relentless on the other side of the fence.

A YA book with zombies?? Let me just say that I’m absolutely terrified of zombies. When the Seattle Public Library wrote about this title in one of their newsletters, I knew regardless of my fear that I had to give this book a shot. I LOVED it. I finished it in four days. What I liked most is how the zombies are integrated as normal life in the book. Mary has never known a world without them, which brings a dangerous sense of desensitising about this evil that can’t be defeated. I loved that the book is set way after the zombie apocalypse, here’s an attempt of continuing after such a disaster, an attempt where no one remembers what the world was like before it ended.

My first five stars for 2012, and I am so happy to find such an amazing first in a series. For the first time as I was reading, I wanted to shout out loud, it was like reading a horror movie. I didn’t want to read the book because it scared but I had to know what happened. Just as heartbreaking as The Hunger Games, this is my newest obsession. Like Collins series, the reader is aware that many of the characters are not going to survive, but that doesn’t stop you from wishing there was some other way. Carrie Ryan is absolutely brilliant. Mary still feels like a modern girl despite growing up in surroundings that have regressed to the dark ages.

I had to break down and buy the second book. My library borough doesn’t have any of the series (grrrrr). This alone should tell you how much I love these books. (For those that don’t know, I work part-time, making buying books difficult) I can’t wait for the second to arrive and thankfully the third was published in 2011. Ladies and gentlemen, these are your spooky books for October!