4 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · young adult

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves

Author: Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 2
Book 1: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Pages [hardcover]: 407

Favorite Characters: Elias & Cira

Opening Lines: The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of the before time. When they didn’t have to worry about people rising from the dead, when they didn’t have to build fences and walls and barriers to protect themselves from the masses of Mudo constantly seeking human flesh.

Memorable Quote: We’re both just human. Nothing more. But also nothing less.


Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.


Nearly a year after I first read the companion book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I decided to pick up The Dead-Tossed Waves. I’m so grateful to commenters that said the second book was much better than the first, and my friends that literally forced me to sit down and read this. I ended up enjoying it much more than I’d expected. It even kept me reading late into the night at some moments!

Carrie Ryan definitely has a gift with plot twists. She can take a simple situation in the book, make it look like the characters will move along with no problem, and all of a sudden drop an unexpected literary bomb that shatters what you thought was going to happen and adds a whole new set of complications to the mix. I loved that, and it definitely kept me hooked. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that there wasn’t a chance to breath, or a spot to stop for the night! Continuous action can be both awesome and exhausting.

The characters still fell a little flat. I’m not sure if Gabry is supposed to really, really annoy me throughout most of the book, but she did. I ended up looking forward to reading about Elias or Catcher, any of the minor characters, really, just to get out of her head for a bit. Her emotions seemed exaggerated, her reactions odd. One thing I did like characterization-wise was how the adults were portrayed. Usually, a main character’s parents aren’t thought of as having their own fears, wants, worries, and dreams. Gabry’s mother is seen in both vulnerable and strong times, much different from most YA books.

I loved how I found out things that were left up in the air in the first book. It was hard to remember details, after so long, but piecing it together was half of the fun. Seeing how the stories ran together was cool. And now I’ll definitely have to pick up the third book, especially with an ending like this. Must I always be left hanging? The final scene annoyed me to no end.

All in all, I give  The Dead-Tossed Waves 4/5 stars. It was twice as good as the first, really kept me interested, and made me want to read more. Very good read, especially for zombie-lovers. (:


4 thoughts on “The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

  1. I’m so glad to hear you ended up enjoying this one – even if you found Gabby somewhat annoying. It was one of my favorite books last year, and I recently got the third book. I really can’t wait to read it!


    1. I ended up liking her a lot more near the end, and that changed my perspective of the entire book. ^^ I hope you love the third book as much as you did the second! I also can’t wait to read it!


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