Thursday, August 23, 2012

"The Dark and Hollow Places" by Carrie Ryan

Generally speaking, this installment in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series was my least favorite. But even after saying that, where it was good, it was great, and at those times it was easily better than the first two. So why does it still win the award for being the worst out of three then?

Well, that's the thing. It wasn't one point in particular, but many little things that all kind of added up to a 'meh' experience. Let's see if I can't get my thought coherently conveyed here, shall we?

  • Problem Numero Uno: The author's vocabulary seemed to be on a major downswing - an overuse / abuse of the adjectives 'raw' and 'ragged' springs to mind here. With the first book, (and even the second to some lesser degree), being full of such colorful descriptions, this one wasn't as solidly written.
  • Point B: For the first time in the three novels, the main character not only thought she was weak - but she was utterly unlikeable to boot. Granted, she'd spent a lifetime thinking that she wasn't good enough, or pretty enough, or punishing herself for being a terrible sister, (and she totally was), but I could deal with all that if she wasn't selfish and self-protecting and self-deprecating to boot. I don't like these people in real life.. I really don't like reading about them.
  • Thirdly: The stories resolution and the actual ending were infuriating because there was so very little closure. I spent a lot of time reading about these people - the least the author could do was give us an epilogue some long time in the future and elude to the happiness of these four main characters - or even just catch us up on Mary. I loved that character and she was all but forgotten about in this installment.

In conclusion (and before I accidentally kick off another rant), if you really enjoyed the first two then read this. It was a fun enough story where readers of the first two will enjoy revisiting this world filled with teeth-gnashing zombies. Or, you might want to pick it up if you're like me and you'll read a series to the end even if it's making your eyes bleed and your brain cells die. In that case you have the green light to go ahead - I promise that it's not 'eye bleeding' terrible... and there are a few scenes in there that are worth the read.

But generally speaking? It might be worth skipping if you didn't much care for the first two, or you have something better lined up in the queue.

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