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The Dead-Tossed Waves: Carrie Ryan

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Looking for a great dystopian novel with a unique twist on an old fear?  This book struck me as a good-read at Barnes and Noble and my hunch was correct.  I have read all three novels in this series and loved all of them. 
This novel concerns Gabry, a girl living in Vista, and her interactions and escape from the "Mudo"/"Unconsecrated"/Zombies.  Gabry is a head-strong character, one that is slightly impulsive, but cares deeply about her friends and family.  The novel starts with an unfortunate decision made by Gabry and her group of friends: to go to an amusement park, outside of their small town's safe boundaries. 
Gabry and Catcher, her lover interest in the beginning of the book, go with their friends to the amusement park.  One never thinks of an amusement park as a place where evil can occur, but occur it does.  A "breaker" or extremely fast and agile Mudo attacks Gabry's group of friends.  A breaker is a Mudo who wakens after dying with no other Mudo around and an intense desire to infect.  Of course, some of Gabry's friends are killed and are infected, Catcher included.  Catcher is a strong, noble character who loves his family.  He is devastated, but accepting when he is infected, leaving the town to stop himself from spreading the infection.  There are consequences for Gabry's actions, the town separates the known offenders to become soldiers of a sort, forced to fight the Mudo.  Gabry's best friend and Catcher's sister is among those caught and forced into service.
Later on in the novel, the reader learns that Catcher is immune to the infection: he will always be a carrier, but he does not die and turn into a raging zombie.  Now Gabry and Catcher and a new boy, Elias, must band together to help Catcher's sister escape and run from the Mudo themselves.  Along the way, Gabry learns an interesting fact about her life before her adoptive mother, causing her to leave to find someone special in the Big City.  Will she make the trip?  Will her friends survive? Read this great book to find out. 
I loved the characters in this novel, the imperfections made them more realistic and likable for me.  I liked how Carrie Ryan set the scenes and events up with slight foreshadowing, making the reader anticipate an exciting scene.  This book is great for young adult/teen readers.