06 May 2010

Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Carrie Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves is the second in a dystopian young adult trilogy. The following review assumes that you either read the first novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, or know the premise (for example, see my review of TFHT).

Gabrielle is a good girl and has no desire to cross the Barrier and leave her town of Vista. Her mother, the lighthouse keeper, walks the beach most nights, but she is not taking in the stars and feeling the sand between her toes. She is cutting off the heads of the Mudo, sometimes called the Returned or the Unconsecrated, who wash up on the shore.

One night, Gabry gives in to peer pressure and climbs the town wall to have some fun among the ruins of the old amusement park. She has never left the protection of Vista before, but Catcher, the cute older brother of her best friend, takes her hand and tells her that he will watch over her. Then the unthinkable happens. A Breaker—a fast-moving Mudo—senses the teens and attacks.

The consequences of that one night spread in ripples until everything that Gabry thought was true has been washed out from under her, and she is forced to face her deepest fears.

Ryan's The Dead-Tossed Waves takes us to a world destroyed by a terrifying virus that creates blood-thirsty zombies. Do not, however, be thrown off by the idea of the undead; this novel focuses on much deeper issues.

With Gabrielle at the hub, the book explores the meanings of family, friendship, and love. The people in Gabry's circle must determine just how far they will go to maintain and protect their various relationships. Sacrifice may be called for, but what kind and how painful?

In addition, The Dead-Tossed Waves, like the first novel, considers what it means to be human:

"Do you remember when I told you there was no difference between us and the Mudo?"

I nod.

"It's because they survive," he says.

"But they don't love. They don't remember." I can feel the hopelessness swallowing me. (p. 375)
Ryan's latest novel is a strong second entry that has risen above the middle-novel slump of many trilogies. Mark your calendar for spring 2011, when The Dark and Hollow Places goes on sale.

The audio edition of The Dead-Tossed Waves (by Listening Library) was read by Tara Sands. Although the audio production is enjoyable, Sands is not as engaging as Vane Millon, the narrator of the first book.

Visit Carrie Ryan's website to learn more about the trilogy.

The Dead-Tossed Waves at Powell's
For Audible and Simply Audiobooks see sidebar
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Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780385736848
Challenges: Support Your Library, Buy One and Read, Young Adult, Audiobooks, What's in a Name?, 100+
YTD: 40
Source: Review, Borrowed, & Bought (see review policy)
(Note: I received an ARC, bought a hardcover, and borrowed the audio from library.)
Rating: B+


Jenn's Bookshelves 5/6/10, 8:23 AM  

I have a copy of this and I've been dying to read it! Thanks for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Julie P. 5/6/10, 8:29 AM  

Like Jenn, I have a copy too. I just think I should read the first book before this one.

Sandy Nawrot 5/6/10, 8:32 AM  

I've been yammering on for ages about reading (or listening) to TFHT, but at this point, maybe I'll just wait and read all three at once. I'm thinking my daughter might like in on these as well...

bermudaonion 5/6/10, 9:17 AM  

I know how excited you've been about this book, so I'm glad to see it met your expectations. I need to get hold of the first book still.

S. Krishna 5/6/10, 9:50 AM  

I really liked this one as well. This is an amazing series.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 5/6/10, 10:18 AM  

I'll keep this in mind for my dystopian readers (my older kids and I definitely don't share a bookcase!)

Is it unusual for books in a series to have different audio readers? I wonder why they'd switch from a successful narration (?)

Beth F 5/6/10, 10:28 AM  

Dawn: I'm guessing the different reader may reflect the fact that there is a different main character. Or perhaps the first reader wasn't available.

Nely 5/6/10, 11:06 AM  

I'm a big fan of this trilogy. I think this second book is just as good, if not better, than the first. Great review.

♥ Nely

Heather 5/6/10, 12:20 PM  

I read this one during the readathon, which was a perfect choice because I couldn't put it down! I agree, Ryan definitely avoided a sophomore slump. TDTW was even better than TFoHT, which I also loved. I reread TFoHT with a reread and liked Millon, I hate that she couldn't do the second one. Of course, being about a diffent main character, like you said, was the reason for it.

Robin M 5/6/10, 5:00 PM  

Sounds good. I have *got* to read The Forest of Hands and teeth first though. Hmmm! Thinking it would be a good mother's day gift. Off to make some hints. :)

J.C. Montgomery 5/6/10, 9:03 PM  

I was finally able to lay my hands on the first book, and now see this great review. Definitely going on my wish list and I hope it doesn't stay there long. Sounds like it needs to be on my TBR shelf - like yesterday!

Violet 5/6/10, 11:18 PM  

I loved the first book and am dying to get my hands on this one. What I liked most about the first book was Gabrielle. So excited to know this book is about her.

kay - Infinite Shelf 5/7/10, 12:05 AM  

I agree that this book definitely avoided the "second book curse". It was so great, I even loved it more than THoHT! Cant't wait for the next one.

Nise' 5/7/10, 9:53 AM  

I can't decide whether to read the first two books now or wait until the third is out and read them all together! Such a dilema!

Jen - devourer of books 5/7/10, 12:49 PM  

I was very pleased with this as a second novel, I actually thought it much better than the first one, which drove me crazy with unanswered questions. Yay for getting my questions answered!

Anonymous,  5/7/10, 2:53 PM  

The first one has been on my to-read list for a while, but I haven't picked it up yet. Maybe I should just wait until the whole trilogy is out, that way I don't have that horrible "how soon til I know the end" feeling.

Violet 5/9/10, 2:09 AM  

I just got the book and I guess I got the plot wrong. I thought it is about Gabrielle from the first book and because it says "companion to the first novel" I got confused :)

Loving the book so far.

Alice 5/9/10, 12:00 PM  

Thanks for the review, Beth! I have The Forest of Hands and Teeth in my TBR after sitting in the wish list for a long time. I hope to read it soon and then continue with this one. :)

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