The Dead-Tossed Waves takes place about twenty or so years after its predecessor, The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Gabry lives a comfortable life with her mother, Mary (from the first book), and even though the undead are always washing up on the beach for them to get rid of, Gabry is pretty happy in her little town with her friends, in the only life she has ever known. But there is one night, one rebellious moment, Gabry’s only rebellious act in her entire life, and this one night changes everything.
I only recently read The Forest of Hands and Teeth [my review] and while I was entertained by it, it wasn’t my favorite read ever. So I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Dead-Tossed Waves. Fortunately for me, I absolutely enjoyed the novel and I’m so happy that I made the decision to continue with the series.
What made the story for me was the character of Gabry, without a doubt. I really connected with her and I felt that Ryan wrote such an honest character in her. I definitely liked her better than Mary, she was more realistic, more flawed and yet smarter too. In the first book, Mary seemed to be so unaware of the obvious, but Gabry got it. She understood the world around her and even though her entire life changed in one moment, she was able to figure out what to do next, where to go from there and how to solve the mysteries she was presented with. She was intelligent and resourceful while still being a “normal” teen.
I also liked the events of The Dead-Tossed Waves quite a bit. The plot moved along very smoothly and Ryan kept me guessing throughout the entire book. So much happened that I wasn’t expecting, but I loved that Mary’s story and Gabry’s story were so well connected. Obviously, they are mother and daughter, so their lives are going to connect, but Ryan managed to make their stories intersect in unexpected ways, and I really enjoyed that.
I realize that this series about zombies isn’t the easiest to believe in, but if you can suspend your disbelief for a bit, the books are worth a read. The Dead-Tossed Waves is a thrill ride of a book, and what’s better is that there is a wonderful main character and good writing too. I’m glad I gave this series a second chance and now I’m eagerly anticipating the next book!