My Review: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her.

Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

My Review:

Out of the three titles in the Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy and of the three main heroines - The Dark and Hollow Places and Annah, were by far my absolute favorite. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two books - but found Mary a little too reserved and Gabry a bit too reliant on those around her. Annah's character on the other hand, was everything a strong, female heroine should be, despite the scares her body carries - independent, courageous, brave, loyal - and overall, she was seriously, one pretty bad-ass chick!

This book picks up right where The Dead Tossed Waves left off - and by all means, completely tied off the full circle and completed the story. Ms. Ryan's writing has only improved in this third and final installment, crafting an even more devastating world around her characters, albeit probably the darkest of the three titles.

The intense struggle to survive trumped the first two story lines - not only because they had the unconsecrated to battle against, but they also had what was left of a desperate human race to contend with as well...leaving you question, if the world actually were to come down to this, who would be worse?

Through all of this, Annah never lost her will to survive - no matter what Ms. Ryan threw her way - and I found myself cheering her on, as well as becoming an emotional wreck, right alongside her. The relationship between she and Catcher was superbly written - and one of the most touching moments between the two, was when Annah realizes how she feels. I literally had to re-read the scene where she throws a snowball at him as he leaves - and he just stands there and lets it hit him square in the chest - several times, to overcome the emotion of it all.

I'm sad to see such a wonderful series come to an end - and would highly recommend these three titles to everyone. I've mentioned it before, but I'm married to someone who didn't like to read (I know, I know, as a YA writer myself, that's seriously sacrilegious!) - and there was a point when he wouldn't be caught dead with a YA title in his hands. However, I convinced him to read The Forest of Hands and Teeth (his first introduction to YA since Lord of the Flies back in Junior High) and The Dead-Tossed Waves followed shortly after that...and then I found myself with a Catcher-crooked smile, as he pestered me over and over, the past few days I was reading the third book, to hurry up and finish so he could read it! Yes, if this series can convince my non-reading, wouldn't-be-caught-dead reading a YA / "girly" book husband to read, it's that good. And I mean That. Good.

Fabulous story-telling, amazing world building, and an overall favorite in my library for sure.

Kudos to Ms. Ryan. There isn't a doubt in mind she made the right decision to change careers and follow her passion to write. I look forward to reading whatever else flows from her fingertips - I just hope that's sooner than later.

View all my reviews