Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places
By Carrie Ryan
Publication date: March 22, 2011

My review:

Since leaving her twin sister Abigail behind when she and Elias got lost in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, Annah has had to live with the guilt. Her life has been difficult in the Dark City but with her best friend Elias there it was more bearable. After he leaves to join the Recruiters in an effort to make a better life for them,  it becomes harder for Annah to go on. She feels that Elias has walked away from her just like she walked away from Abigail when they were little. Then the unbelievable happens and Annah sees a girl who looks just like her (minus Annah's disfiguring scars). Could it be Abigail? Before Annah can find out however, the girl is captured by the Recruiters. With the help of a new acquaintance, Catcher, Annah plans to rescue Abigail even as a horde of Unconsecrated moves toward the Dark City.

This third and final book in the series features characters from The Dead Tossed Waves and introduces us to the new character, Annah. She is a very different protagonist from Gabry, the main character of The Dead Tossed Waves, because of how their life experiences have shaped them. Annah is both brave and vulnerable. She has insecurities about her disfigured appearance and she also has abandonment issues to deal with. At the same time she knows how to defend herself and survive on her own. When she first meets Catcher it is hard for her to trust him. She is used to looking out for herself and having to trust him is a difficult thing for her. Annah has some pain from Elias's betrayal years before and it is made worse with the return of Elias and her twin. As Annah gets to know her sister though, there are some touching moments of healing.

Catcher also has some issues to deal with such as his fears of others becoming infected. Although I didn't like all of the decisions Catcher made over the course of the book, I still liked him as a character. The one returning character I had issues with was Elias. Seeing him through Annah's eyes rather than Gabry's made me not like him very much partly because of his past treatment of her. He refuses to see the consequences of the decision he made at the beginning of the book until it is almost too late.

The Dark and Hollow Places is a good finale to this series. True to its title, this is a very dark book. In a way, its tone is reminiscent of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. There is a stronger sense of hopelessness and the characters are forced to ask themselves hard questions about right and wrong. Life isn't just black and white, there are shades of gray. Even as the trilogy draws to a close, Carrie Ryan leaves us with no easy answers for the future of the world she created. The message seems to be that you just go on and do what you need to do to survive and at the end of the day, there is a glimmer of hope for brighter days ahead.

Readalikes: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Note: I read an ARC of this book as part of an ARC tour courtesy of Banned Book Tours


  1. I'm glad to hear that you think it was a good ending- I was worried it was going to be very inconclusive :S Can't wait! :)

  2. This one sounds so intriguing, I'm glad to finally see a review from a blogger I trust. I'll have to check it out when it comes out :D

  3. Great review!, I've been wanting to read this one :)


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