Amber’s Goodreads review of The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #3)The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I haven’t quite finished this yet, and I will, but as far as reviews go I’m calling it now.

The first two books rode on Ryan’s suspenseful storytelling. In this one, I stopped caring. Maybe it’s because it’s been so long since I read the first two, but I just didn’t care about the characters. I find Annah pretty unlikable. I don’t care about her, Catcher, Gabry/Abigail/whatever her name is or Elias. I get angry with the abuses of the Recruiters but that’s about it.

My main problems:
-The whole first-person-present-tense with a completely inauthentic, overly poetical voice. No one would “think” like this. First person past tense would do a lot to improve it (someone with an artistic soul thinking back on events would be authentic enough) but this first-person-present trend is huge now, much to my annoyance. It makes it really hard to suspend my disbelief and it really really slows down the action AND takes me out of the story, whether something is happening or people are just talking. No one is that goddamn actively mentally aware of how their body is feeling and what they’re thinking in the middle of a conversation or when something exciting is going on, at least not in such detail.

-The repetition, the constant circling around of coming together, pushing away, philosophizing about is surviving really living, should we envy the undead? It’s gotten to the point where I’m not sure which character holds which opinion anymore. I went from one chapter where Annah is telling Catcher pretty much “live today for tomorrow we may die” to the very next, she’s going on to Elias about how maybe dying/undying would be easier. I can see mood swings but two adjacent chapters of just talk talk talk (and I’m not averse to talk, or character development… if only we could get some!) is wearisome.

-Again, with the do I love this person, does he love me, I want you/I can’t be with you, all taking place in the middle of post-zombie-apocalypse hell… Okay, so it’s been awhile since I’ve been a teenager and these kids have grown up with the world like this (over a century, apparently, since the Return? I’m amazed anyone’s still alive). It still strikes me as really bizarre that the romance drama would be anyone’s primary concern right now. It was ridiculous enough when they were actively running from zombies.

I pretty much picked this one up just to finish the series (and if there’s another book after this one, forget it, it ends with a trilogy for me). If Ryan is trying to simulate the tense boredom of the main character’s daily existence, she’s succeeded, bravo. Maybe I’m just getting too old for teenage love quadrangles.

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~ by Amber on March 13, 2014.

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