Thursday, March 31, 2011
Annah has been surviving on her own in the Dark City for a long time. In fact she has been waiting for Elias to return to her for 3 years. Elias joined the Recruiters 3 years before and has not returned to the city. Annah still has hope that he will come back to her. Finally realizing that she cannot wait forever she is determined to go searching for him. On her way out of the city though she sees someone entering that looks very familiar. In fact she looks just like Annah! She knows immediately that it is her sister that she and Elias left in the Forest many years before.
While searching the city for her sister Annah meets Catcher. She is attracted to him but unable to let her heart care for someone else. At the same time a massive horde has attacked the city. Annah risks going back to her flat to gather personal belongings and weapons. When she arrives she finds Elias there waiting for her. They escape to the island that the Protectorate is living on. The Protectorate hold Annah, her sister Abigail(now Gabry) and Elias hostage and demand that Catcher in his immune state make trips into the city finding supplies to keep the island inhabitants alive.
Annah is elated to finally be reunited with her sister. With that elation comes heartbreak though as she sees the bond between Abigail and Elias. Their love cannot be denied.
The island is a nightmare for Annah. The Recruiters are cruel and heartless. Their commander Ox has stated that Annah and her group should stay clear of the Recruiters because if anything happened he would definitely side with his men. All seems hopeless. Annah begins to wonder why people continue to struggle to survive the massive hordes that are taking over the earth.
All is not lost though and Annah has to believe that all humanity will not be wiped out by the undead.
As with the other 2 books in the series The Dark and Hollow Places is a roller coaster ride of excitement and heart-stopping action. The last several pages had me biting my nails and reading as fast as I could to see the final outcome!
Unlike the previous two books in this trilogy, this story takes place in the city where people have been eeking out a living ever since the Return. Even though life is dangerous and difficult - the people have been relatively safe from the Unconsecrated. While there are some wandering around, someone who knows how to fight can take care of them.
Annah's life is full of regret. She regrets leaving her sister behind in the forest. She regrets the event that left her scarred for life. She especially regrets allowing Elias to leave.
Annah has had to manage life on her own for over three years - ever since Elias left to join the Recruiters. Every day she hopes he'll show up and she can feel complete again - maybe even relax a little since she won't have to survive alone.
Eventually, Annah gives up and decides to leave the City, but on her way out she glimpses someone that looks just like her - her sister. She made the immediate decision to turn around and find her. Annah lost Abigail once - she wasn't going to do it again.
The Horde is forcing people in the City to look for safety. The City with its walls and bridges and guards have been relatively safe for years, but it has never been assaulted by the number of Unconsecrated that have awakened and are on their way to the City.
Annah searches the City high and low looking for Abigail only to discover she has been taken to the Recruiters' island headquarters. After running into Catcher and reuniting with Elias, they make their way to the island to get Abigail - but mostly for safety since the Horde has breached the City walls.
Instead of being a safe haven, the island turns out to be a prison as they are held against their will. They come face-to-face with nightmares that shouldn't be possible with the humans around them. Annah especially sees the monster in the Recruiters and devotes her time to finding a way off of the island. She convinces her sister, Elias, and Catcher that life can continue away from the City.
THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES is a perfect conclusion to the trilogy. Annah's point of view is fascinating. Life has never been easy for her, yet she is able to maintain hope and instill that hope in others. The damage she has (inside and out) really makes it difficult for her to feel wanted and loved by others. Her insecurities cause her to put up walls, making her seem tough on the outside. It is heartbreaking to read her inner thoughts - to see what she really thinks about herself and her scars.
As for readers that are new to this trilogy, I highly recommend you read all three of the book in order. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES, and THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES. This way you'll have a full understanding of the world you are reading about. I feel THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH gives the best descriptions of the Unconsecrated whereas in THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES we need to use what we already know to help us complete the picture of the Horde breaking into the City.
The way THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES ends is great. Very hopeful! I can see another off-shoot series developing with the way things are at the end. I'd love to read the novels that could follow this trilogy. Let's just hope Carrie Ryan isn't sick of the world she has created. Even if she is, maybe she'll come back to it one day and let us know how everything turns out.
Julie agrees to meet Karin halfway on The Dark and Hollow Places. She totally enjoyed the series even though the books tended to be rather "dark". The redeeming feature in all 3 books for her is the vein of hope that constantly runs through each story. In each book there is a strong female character that carries that hope for herself and the people around her. Dealing with Zombies(Unconcecrated, the horde, the Returned, the Undead) there is a lot of gruesome killing that goes on in the books which may not be for all audiences. Also there is allusion to sexual activity that may not appeal to all readers.
If you have read this trilogy COMMENT and let us know what you think.