Google+ Reading Teen: The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 22, 2011)
Author's Website:  Http://
Buy the book:  AmazonSeries or Standalone:  Third book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth series

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face when she and Elias left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they found their way to 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 him to come home ever since. Without him, her life doesn't feel much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Then she meets Catcher and everything feels alive again.

Except, Catcher has his own secrets -- dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah's 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 drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?
My review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
My review of The Dead-Tossed Waves

I am consistently amazed by Carrie Ryan's writing.  It's something I notice every time I pick up one of her books.  Her writing is just.....better.  It's like it's a step up, a higher caliber, just a little MORE.  Before I started The Forest of Hands and Teeth, you never would have been able to convince me that I would like a zombie book.  In fact, I only read it because my Book Guru told me to.  And I can't tell you how glad I am that I listened.  This series has been one of the best I've ever read.

Carrie Ryan's ability to totally suck me into this unrealistic world, and make it seem realistic is beyond amazing.  After reading this series, I am convinced that zombies will one day (soon) take over the world! 

The Dark and Hollow Places continues from where The Dead-Tossed Waves left off, but this time we're reading from Gabry's twin sister's point of view.  I love this!  I love that all of these books are connected, but not exactly the same.  I also like that even though the same apocalypse is happening, that the settings are different.  This book took place in a completely overrun and decaying "Dark City." The parts I thought were the most creepy were the times that they were in the subway tunnels.  I actually wish that more of the book had taken place there.  I just kept picturing them running for their lives in those tunnels, like a movie in my mind.  I think if it ever gets made into a movie it will be FAH-REEKY!!!  I have goosebumps just thinking of it!

I would say that this is probably the darkest of the series.  The reason for this, though, is not the zombies.  It's the people.  While the zombies have no control over their actions, the people (namely The Recruiters) in this book were repulsive!  The things that they did to each other, in the name of survival (and entertainment), were just sickening.  And the sad part is, I could totally see it happening in real life. I had a much harder time reading about the horrible things The Recruiters were doing, to the people in the Dark City, Annah, and The Soulers, than I did reading about the gruesome details of the zombies. 

Out of the three books, this was my least favorite, and I'll name a couple of things that I wasn't crazy about, but still know that I really loved it, it just means I loved the first two better.  First, I have to say I thought Annah and Catcher's relationship was a little too easy.  In FHT, Mary switches back and forth between two guys.  In DTW Gabry loves Catcher, then over the course of time switches to Elias.  In this one Annah loves Elias then switches to Catcher.  I thought it was kind-of the same story in all of them, and a little predictable and like I said, too easy.  Also, I do wish the ending was a little more resolved than it was, though I can't really go into it without giving anything away.  There are just a LOT of questions that I still have, that I guess will never be answered. :( And lastly, (and this is totally a preference thing), I really missed Gabry's voice in this one.  Although Gabry was in the book, she was such a minor character, who didn't seem to have much to her.  That was hard for me because I liked her so much in DTW.  I found myself wishing the book had switched back and forth between Annah and Gabry....but I guess I'm not the author...haha!

Overall, though, I can't recommend this series enough.  It's crazy, and I know this won't make sense, but somehow Ryan has made this world seem completely hopeless, and still has hope.  You can literally feel the desperation that the characters have, just to survive.  I ached for them.  Especially for Catcher.  He just wants to love and be loved so badly, and yet he's afraid to get close to anyone for fear that he may infect them.  The relationship between him and Annah has SO MUCH TENSION!  This is that romantic tension that I always say I love so much.  When one touch can mean the difference between life and death. drives me crazy....and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!

Carrie Ryan, you are an incredible writer, and I will read anything that you put on paper.  I can't wait to see what you bring us next!

  • Sexual Content:  Some kissing and romantic tension
  • Profanity:  Mild
  • Violence:  Heavy

For more details go to The Dark and Hollow Places on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I can't wait for this one! I'm glad you liked it

  2. I cannot wait to read this book. I also fell in love with this series. The writing was just astounding and I think DTW was my favourite so far. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this last book in the series. :) Great review!

  3. Yes, DTW was my favorite too!! Loved it!!!

  4. I have DTW on my nightstnad, I can't wait to read it! Plus, it's awesome to know that the third book would be just as good :) Great review Andye!


  5. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! I'm the GURU!!!!! huahauahuahauahuahauahaauaaua
    I (of course) agree with absolutely everything you said!
    I'm so excited to meet Carrie Ryan this Tuesday - March 22 in Miami. I'll def ask her f the story is really over cause it didn't feel like it. I'm hoping she'll say it's not! hauhuahauhaauhauhaa

  6. I definitely loved DTW more than the first one and I bought a copy of The Dark and Hollow Places today so I'm hoping it will be a good conclusion. I'm a bit nervous for the characters... just when I think they'll find some happiness, everything seems to go wrong!

    And ohhhh! You think this is the darkest of the three? Wow! It must be intense because the first two were already really dark...

    Thanks for the awesome review!! :)

  7. I totally know what you mean about the hope thing. The Dead Tosses Waves was one of my favorite books and I felt that this one exceeded it. Like you said, I just felt like Carrie Ryan's writing kept getting better. That is why my favorites go backwards (Book #3, #2, #1). I just posted my review today also and I am still slightly in shock so I didn't have much to say other than it was AMAZING and dark. Haha. Her work just does something to me and I don't know what it is. The world she creating is both terrifying yet beautiful in a way. It is like you can't describe it to someone who hasn't read it. You have to experience it to understand.

    Anyway, great review.


  8. P.S: sorry for so many typos....

  9. I really need to post my review of this! Such a good series, I am SO upset it's over. Cry!!!


  10. *sigh* you lit a fire under me arse to read book 2 so I can read book 3. I really loved book 1, so what the heck am I waiting for?

  11. I think I have to start reading this series ASAP! People are making me really curious about it!


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