Title: The Dead-Tossed Waves
Author: Carrie Ryan
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Teen/YA, Fantasy, Dystopian
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Gabry has always felt content living within the safety of the town of Vista. She’s never been curious about the Forest of Hands and Teeth, never wanted to venture out beyond the gates to see what’s out there because she’s so afraid of the undead Mudo. But when Catcher, the boy she loves, asks Gabry to come with him and their friends to an area outside of town, Gabry considers breaking the rules for him. What she doesn’t know, though, is that their actions will set off a chain of events that will lead Gabry to realize there is much more to her past and future than she once realized.
I really enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I was excited to start reading The Dead-Tossed Waves. However, when I started the novel, I was confused about one thing. The Dead-Tossed Waves is billed as a “companion novel” to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. What does that mean – is it a sequel? Is it necessary to read the two in order? Are they even about the same characters, or are they just different stories set in the same world?
I would say The Dead-Tossed Waves is a sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth; however, they don’t need to be read in order. The events in The Dead-Tossed Waves do take place after those in The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but neither book spoils the other, really. I’d recommend reading them in order, just because you might lose some of the effect of world discovery if you don’t, but it’s not necessary.
I loved learning more about the world in The Dead-Tossed Waves. Carrie Ryan has done an incredible job weaving the history of this place. She drops tantalizing clues as to what’s going on, and it’s very satisfying to watch it unfold. I learned enough in The Dead-Tossed Waves to satisfy me, but Ryan still leaves me wanting more.
Once again, Carrie Ryan also deals with a lot of real-world issues in this novel. Religion, the nature of the afterlife, the importance of freedom, the hopelessness that leads to suicide – she discusses all of these within its pages. As a result, The Dead-Tossed Waves is a thought-provoking novel for teen and adult alike.
I really enjoyed The Dead-Tossed Waves and already cannot wait for the next book in the series. Ryan has built an incredibly intricate world with appealing characters and a compelling storyline. I definitely want to see where she takes it next.