Review Blog

Sep 02 2011

Dark and hollow places by Carrie Ryan

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Orion, 2011. ISBN 9780575094840.
(Age 14+) Recommended. Zombie. The third in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series stars Annah, Gabry's twin sister. Annah has a lot to be sorry about. She and Elias lost Gabry in the forest when she just a little girl. She has a horrific scar from the barbed wire that keeps out the Undead. They have lived a precarious existence in the City, with Elias protecting her and providing a reason for her existence. Then he left to become part of the Recruits and her whole existence has revolved around waiting for him to come home. But one day she meets Catcher and decides that perhaps life is worth living after all.
As in the first two books in the series, there is plenty of action to keep the reader's interest. It takes place in the ruins of the City, but is no less terrifying that the scenes of hands and teeth clutching at the living through the fences in the previous two books. The Horde swarm everywhere and the machinations of those in command of trying to keep the living safe are horrifying as well.
Annah is a compelling character who grabbed my interest right from the start. It was good to see her growth and bravery in this coming of age novel. Catcher too is a fascinating character. He has dark secrets and his future is unknown. The growing feelings between the two are central to the plot. Ryan handled Annah's feelings for Elias and then for Catcher in a sympathetic and believable way. I especially liked Annah, even more than Gabry and Mary in the previous books, as she grew to be brave and determined. Catcher too is strong and courageous.
This series has been fast paced and engrossing: all the books are ones that I haven't wanted to put down. If teens want horror stories, complete with zombies, they can't go past this group of books or Jonathan Maberry's Rot and ruin.
Pat Pledger

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