If you haven't read the first two books in Carrie Ryan's brilliant, post-apocalyptic zombie trilogy, YOU NEED TO RIGHT NOW. They are not only extremely well written and thrilling--this post also contains some spoilers for the third book. So, run away and do some crazy reading. See you soon.
Please close the window unless you want some hardcore spoilers.
Okay, you're good?
Are you sure?
Well, alrighty then.
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?
Carrie Ryan's trilogy, named after the first novel "The Forest of Hands and Teeth", is basically the ultimate combination as far as fiction goes: a fast paced plot that makes it impossible to put down, and a deep, often painful emotional quality that makes the stakes incredibly high.
Before I go on, we need to get one thing straight. I am terrified of zombies. The idea of them--the living dead--as an unstoppable, emotionless force that could one day take over the world, eating and killing everything in their path. Yeah, it freaks me out.
The zombies in Carrie Ryan's go by many names. Unconsecrated, Forsaken, Mudo, plague rats. They're slow moving and not too bright, but they move like a tidal wave, unstoppable and unshakable. The action in Ryan's novels is totally edge-of-your-seat, can't-put-down-even-to-cross-the-street good. This third book was especially amazing. The main character, Annah, is super strong and totally independent. She's willing to do anything to keep herself--and the people that she loves--safe. She's one of those people that you would definitely want to be friends with, but also never ever cross.
I think my favorite part of the whole book, though, is how little it sounded like someone had actually written it. I'm guessing that didn't make any sense, let me rephrase it: the writer was completely invisible. When there was narration, it was all Annah talking. I've heard this bit of advice many, many times, but I never really understood it until reading this book.
You just put yourself in their place, breathe with their lungs and feel the beat of their heart. And that's what Carrie Ryan did, superbly.