The Dead Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan chronicles the journey of Gabrielle who is Mary’s (the main character in The Forest of Hands and Teeth’s) Daughter. Gabrielle has grown up inside the beach city surrounded on three sides by the ocean and one side by the Forest. Living within the barriers has allowed Gabrielle to be safe but it has also taught her to be scared. When Gabry’s friends go down to the old fairgrounds and cross the barrier she reluctantly goes and from then on her life is never the same.
I really admire the fact that Ryan can create such a different atmosphere and different characters set within the same world as The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Many times authors will try to set new characters in the same world and it is just not done well. Ryan masterfully executes this transition.
Gabrielle is a completely different narrator then Mary was in the first novel. Gabrielle has her own distinct personality, her own worries, and fears. But while the characters have many differences it is clear that Gabrielle is Mary’s daughter. Both women are strong, independent, and willing to do anything for the people around them. They also both grew up with secrets surrounding them and must come to terms with what that means and how it changes them.
The love triangle in The Dead Tossed Waves was also very well done. I kept switching between who I liked more, Catcher or Elias. Both had their own personalities and there was something in each of them the Gabrielle loved and that made me love each of them too. Catcher is the boy that Gabry grew up with who knows all of her secrets and has been her best friends brother. Elias is the distant stranger who is somehow connected to her distant past. Even by the end of the book I hadn’t necessarily made up my mind on whom I liked more, but I think Gabry had.
I’m actually upset that I waited so long to read this book! I will be the first to admit The Forest of Hands and Teeth really scared me. I don’t do Zombie horror well and put off reading this book so that I wouldn’t have nightmares again (I may or may not have hidden this book on the bottom shelf to try and put it out of my mind). Surprisingly, for some reason, I found The Dead Tossed Waves to be less scary then The Forest of Hands and Teeth. So if you are like me and are putting off reading the rest of the series, dust off your books and start again, it is definitely worth it!