Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Annah has spent the last three years waiting for Elias to come home to her. Barely surving as the Dark City collapses around her, every day is a struggle to find food, stay warm, and avoid the Infected bites of the Unconsecrated and the corruption and casual violence Recruiters. Annah knows she should leave, that Elias probably isn't coming home - but if she does, how will he find her if she's gone?

But when she finally makes the decision to go, a glimpse of a face she never thought she'd see again forces Annah to return to the Dark City. It's her own face, the face she should see in the mirror if her own wasn't twisted with scars from a childhood razor wire accident in the tunnels deep below the city. The face of her twin sister, Abigail, who she thought had been lost to the Forest of Hands and Teeth when they were only five. Traveling the opposite way, into the Dark City, Abigail is with a boy the Recruiters won't allows into the City when their dogs smell the Infection of the Unconsecrated on him. When the boy dives into the river and doesn't resurface, Annah watches in horror as the Recruiters arrest Abigail and drag her away. Annah knows she has to find her sister. Her entire life has been haunted by the fact that she abandoned Abigail in the Forest when they were children, and she can't lose her twin again.

Back in the Dark City, Annah runs into trouble, and she is saved by the most unlikely of people - the boy she saw with her sister. The boy she thought had drowned, the one that is Infected but somehow not dying and Returning. He says his name is Catcher, that he's a rare Immune, that he knows her name is Annah, and that he's been searching for her - for Elias.

Set in the icy depths of the subway tunnels and the skeletal heights of the skyscrapers of a dystopian, destroyed New York City, Carrie Ryan continues the dark, eerie saga of a world destroyed by the never-ending hunger of the Unconsecrated begun in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Readers will recognize Elias, Catcher and Gabry (aka Abigail) from The Dead-Tossed Waves, and will barely be able to breathe as the zombie horde from the end of that book stumbles ever closer to the Dark City. Forced into a wary trust, Annah and Catcher must work together to stay alive and search for Gabry and Elias. Brutal, gory (it IS a zombie apocalypse novel, after all, and you know what that means - heads will roll!) and with enough tension to make you bite your nails down to the quick, The Dark and Hollow Places is for fans of the first two Forest of Hands and Teeth books, dystopian reads, horror, and all things zombie. Check out all three @ the library!

Megan (who can't wait to start Wither by Lauren DeStefano over lunch!)

P.S. For more of Carrie Ryan's creeptacular world of the Unconsecrated (and other zombie awesomeness), check out her short story, "Bougainvillea," in Zombies vs. Unicorns!