The Dark and Hollow Places, by Carrie Ryan

I just… I… hmmph. Pout. Frustrated dance. Etcetera.

I shouldn’t have picked up this book. I really shouldn’t have. I quite liked The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but I did not like The Dead-Tossed Waves, and I knew that I was not going to like this book but I had to give it a chance, right? And when I saw the audiobook sitting on the shelf, just waiting there for me, knowing that I lots of time for listening to audiobooks at work… well, I couldn’t resist.

True story: I listened to probably the first three or four hours of this book before realizing that it wasn’t still about Gabry of the previous installment. I was very very confused and wondering how I had managed to forget all this stuff that must have happened, and then finally I figured out that it’s actually from the point of view of Gabry’s sister, Annah. So I gave up and started over, and things made so much more sense then. Well, comparatively.

Right, so, Annah. She’s living in the Dark City (no, really), and she’s been waiting for her boy-thing to return from the army-type-thing for several years now, but with all the zombies and the really crappy living conditions she’s like, okay, fine, I’m out of here. Except then she sees herself, and by herself I mean her twin sister, and she’s like, oh, how interesting, considering the last time I saw her I was leaving her to her doom in the woods. And so she heads back into the city to find her sister and, you know, catch up.

But, if you’ve read the other novels, you know that Gabry doesn’t remember a thing about Annah, and also she’s trying to run from some zombies and army-type people herself, oh, and also, she’s madly in love with Annah’s boy-thing. And he’s pretty in love with her, too.

And so there is love triangle-age, no, love square-age because another fella is there who was once in love with Gabry and who is now thinking about being in love with Annah, like, seriously? And there is also danger because said fella has this immunity thing to the zombie-ism and the army wants him. And then they get him, and also the other boy fella and also the twins and they aren’t very nice and they show Annah that the world has really gone all to crap and so isn’t it okay if they leer at her and abuse her? Of course it is.

It’s… uncomfortable.

So, yeah. The book doesn’t have much of a discernible plot, that I could tell, unless you count making me hate Annah so hard as a plot — if I have to hear one more time about how no one loves her or how her scars make her unlovable or how she uses her hair as a shield or how she once associated a certain affectation with her old boy-thing but now it’s totally her new boy-thing’s affectation, I may scream a little. I did actually say “I KNOW.” out loud a couple of times, at my desk, while listening to this. Frustrating.

I’m not sure how this series went so off the rails (in my opinion, as I’ve seen many people loving on this book) after this first book — I think part of it is that the protagonists have gotten progressively weaker, and also the fact that the love parallelapiped has gotten progressively more important to the story. Whatever it is, I’m giving this book a solid MEH.

Recommendation: I guess if you’re looking for a love story with zombies, you could read the last two books of this series.

Rating: 3/10
(A to Z Challenge)

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3 thoughts on “The Dark and Hollow Places, by Carrie Ryan

  1. Beth Hatch says:

    I started to read The Dead Tossed Waves after seeing it on the shelf. The description on the back didn't mention zombies as I recall. When I started to read it, I was all, “WTH?” I tried to give it a shot but lost interest about 1/4 of the way through. Oh well. Looks like it doesn't get any better later on.

  2. Alison says:

    If you ever manage to finish it, I'd be interested to know what The Dead-Tossed Waves is like as read on its own — I spent the whole time I was reading it waiting for it to be The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and so I don't think I read it or this one the way they might be better read.

    But if you're not a zombie person, I wouldn't worry about reading any of them. 🙂

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