Publisher: Delacorte Books
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?
Okay, so, have you ever picked up a book and once you read the last few chapters . . . you straight away put that book down because you don't want it to end? That's exactly what happened to me here. THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES is the third installment of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, and the final conclusion to her EPIC zombie trilogy. For those who know me I love myself some zombie - whether it's books, movies, graphic novels or anything zombie-related - and when it comes to Ryan's story, she does a bloody fine job in writing zombies. All her books are full of adventure, darkness, and heart-breaking emotion. It's no wonder why this particular book series has captivated manys hearts and has become everyone's personal YA favourite.
In THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES, Annah has lived on her own in the Dark City for almost three years, after Elias left to join the Recruiters. Ah, Elias, how I love you. With a dark past and clearly a very bleak future ahead, Annah is merely survivng. But when her everyday routine changes she meets a girl who shares the same face as her: Abigail/Gabry - her twin sister. And not only that, but Elias has also returned along with Annah's twin and a boy named Catcher. CATCHER! I love you also. Because of their sudden return, Annah will need to decide whether there's still some hope for the future.
For me, what really stood out in this installment was Annah herself. I loved the fact that she's as tough-as-nails and has this intense longing for freedom, which I think most teens would feel if they were in her situation. However, the only thing I didn't like about her was her hate for Gabry, who I've come to know and love when I was inside her head in The Dead-Tossed Waves. She's was a great favourite of mine and with her in a love triangle between Catcher and Elias, I didn't understand how Annah could pine over these two boys . . . KNOWING they were her sisters past lovers. *shakes head* It just didn't seem right at the time. But there's no denying that I loved the relationship between Annah and Catcher. It's sort of a broken love, but a very hopeful and intense one, which I loved. The two of them really understood each other and I'm also glad to see Gabry and Elias were apart of the story as supporting characters. Missed the two of them.
Overall, like in Ryan's previous books, this one is very dark and I love that because most of the time I didn't feel hope for any of the characters but that's because the world is full of zombies. How can you feel hope when they're involved? Anyway, the author Carrie Ryan did such an amazing job in crafting a world like this one. She portrayed the feeling of aloneness so well . . . and I hope our own future doesn't end up like this world of hers. As in the previous books, readers should expect a lot of running away from the Unconsecrated, hiding in the likes of forests, and fighting off unwanted attention. That's what you get in Ryan's books. THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES isn't for the weak hearted, but if you've read the previous two installments, do NOT stop now! Or if you're new readers then give this one a go!
The story moves like an action movie clip, and with its descriptive narrative writing and its awesome sequences to add into the mix, it's nonetheless a bittersweet end to a series that we've grown to love.