Thursday, April 7, 2011

Annah is a fighter in THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan is by far my favorite book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. And Annah is my favorite of the three heroines.  She's the strongest, but also the most damaged.

While Mary and Gabry both grew up in relative safety, Annah has been fighting to survive since she was five years old.  Both Mary and Gabry took risks while figuring out what they wanted out of life.  (Sometimes these risks made me want to yell at them and say, "No!  Just stay put!  There are zombies out there!  What are you thinking?!!! Ahhh!!!")

Annah, on the other hand, is less reckless but her world is so much more dangerous.  Everyday is a struggle to survive.  She doesn't need to take stupid risks to decide what she wants, she already knows.  She wants to be safe and she wants to be loved.  But in a world consumed by death, where even the living have lost their humanity, this might be too much to ask for.

I found The Dark and Hollow Places to be significantly darker and more terrifying than The Forest of Hands and Teeth or The Dead-Tossed Waves.  Ryan explores the cruelty of human nature and what we're capable of once order is stripped away--ideas just touched on in the previous two books.  At times, I didn't know if I was more scared of the Unconsecrated or the Recruiters.

And boy are there some scary scenes!  In real life, I'm totally scared of the dark.  Who knew that reading about the dark would make me so terrified?  I had to stop and catch my breath a few times, I was gasping and panting while reading, I was so scared.  (Note:  I'm a wuss)

Don't worry, though, it's not all doom, gloom, and fear.  I also think the love story in this book is the best of all three.  Unlike with Mary and Gabry's romances, it was clear from the start who Annah belonged with.  And there's nothing more satisfying than watching two characters learn to love themselves so they can begin to love each other.

I loaned my copy of the book to a student and when she finished, she told me, "And I'm so glad she fell in love with him because...well...yeah."
"Yeah," I said.
Sometimes sixteen-year-olds say it best.

You will not be disappointed in the conclusion to this amazing series.


  1. I can't believe I haven't even read The Forest of Hands and Teeth--that's it. Forget grocery shopping tomorrow--I'm going book shopping. I know my fifteen-year-old would love this series as well. Thanks for the push!

  2. Thanks for the review! I have read the first two and have been wondering when to get this one. Looks like... soon!

  3. Jess- yay, I hope you love it as much as I do.

    Jenni- yes, sooooon (I'm groaning the word soon like an Unconsecrated)

  4. Hey there!
    I'm glad you read that book! They say it's awesome.

    Truth is, I started to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and I realized I'm easily spooked. LOL. I prefer to read dystopians and contemporary and *some* paranormals... but zombie-like creatures? Um, they kinda give me nightmares!

    I think I get spooked more easily than my 5yo! LOL

  5. Sounds like an interesting series. I too am a complete wuss. I would probably sleep with the light on after reading this.

  6. I've really been looking forward to this, I'm going to try to pick up a copy this afternoon. I'm glad to hear it's the best in the series, I loved the other two so I'm even more excited to read it now :-)

  7. This was a great book! Although I love horror, it is my genre of choice, there are few books that really, REALLY get me spooked, and this was one of them. I don't relax on the subway quite like I used to. At any rate, I like The Dead Tossed Waves the best. Though Annah's personal journey and romance was intense, I was much more moved by Gabry and Mary's story.. But then, when I think about it... Heck, they were all amazing!

  8. In the third and final installment in her Forest of Hands and Teeth series, Carrie Ryan, introduces you to Annah. Annah has been living on her own in the Dark City since Elias left to join the protectorate. With scars that mar her face and body, Annah is more of a recluse. She uses her street smarts - bowing her head, not making eye contact and blending into the shadows as a weapon. Without any friends or family she has used these skills as a way to survive the dangers of the Dark City. Waiting for Elias, her life has become as lifeless as that of the Unconsecrated but then she meets Catcher. Catcher who brings with him memories of a past that she has longed to forget.