Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the final book in The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy. This one follows the adventures of Annah, sister of Abigail, or Gabry, from book 2, and Catcher, as well as a few others. It one takes places in the Dark City, where the Recruiters reign supreme, and the city is tightly controlled as to who goes out and esp. in. Life is harsh, and death around the corner, if not from the undead, then from other people, desperate for food and supplies, or the Recruiters themselves. Annah has been waiting for Elias, her ersatz boyfriend, for years now after he left to join the recruiters outside the city, but then Catcher comes and tells her what has been going on. She’s not happy with the turn of events, but she is a survivor. Told in the first person, she refers to Gabry as “her sister” and not by name, which I found annoying, and the action is less in this one, and more about feelings, of loss, love, repudiation, and confusion. While sorting through these feelings, Annah must battle the Returned, and the recruiters, who want her as bait for Catcher. And then the unthinkable happens and they all must decide if they want to live or die, and what it is they want to live for. My major complaint with the book is that it started right out, deep in the story, with very little background information coming through, about characters, and events, and the Return. I had to dig deep, with my faulty memory, to recall what happened, even loosely, in the first two books and was not entirely successful. While it could be a stand-alone novel, for those who read them as they came out, and read a lot, they might not recall enough detail to make it as meaningful as it should. Same thing in the current book I’m reading. There is a way to impart previous information, without being too obvious, and this one had only brief references to previous places, people, and events. I’d recommend reading them back to back.

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