The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places - Carrie Ryan

Man... this series has been ups and downs and all around for me. At times it was interesting but most of the time it was... not. I love the world and the Unconsecrated. I thought it was fascinating how they were incorporated into the story (even though we don't get much of explanation as to why this happened in the first place but I digress). The characters? Yeah, not so much. It was a constant struggle for me to stay invested whenever the story focused on the characters and their stupidity. BUT! I persevered and, by the end of it, I was glad I read it. If only for the world building aspects.

I said this in my other review of her books, but I think Ryan has excellent ideas but does not know how to execute them well. Her ideas about the Unconsecrated and how the world is basically coming to an end are astounding! It's a concept that makes you want to sit and analyze for hours on end! The horrific imagery that is placed in your head whilst you learn more and more about this world will leave you with jitters. However, I think Ryan struggles with portraying these ideas in a way that's not tedious to the reader. She focuses more on her characters instead of building up her world more. And I would be fine with this... if her characters weren't all a bunch of cardboard cutouts of each other with no motivation to do anything except land with the guy they are currently yearning for. That doesn't make good characters. Not one bit.

Speaking of characters, they go through little character development, if any. Annah was selfish and stupid in the beginning and she ends the same way, except this time she is pining after Catcher instead of Elias, the same two main love interests from <i>The Dead-Tossed Waves</i>. (Yeah, I know. Boring.) Catcher and Elias haven't changed at all from the previous book so whenever they were being focused on, I was bored out of my mind. Gabry is in this one, too... and I really disliked her in the previous book. And guess what? I still don't like her. But at least she was hardly shown in this one. All-in-all, the characters were too dull or too stupid for me to care about any of them. There was only one character, a minor one with no relevance to the "plot," that I actually cared for... and Annah had to go and mess that up, too. (I would say more but it's a bit of a spoiler. It had to do with Dove.)

With that being said, I do love the world. I love the creepy atmosphere this book sets up. I love how, when Ryan focuses on the plot, the book becomes fun and interesting. The writing isn't that great nor are the characters but I think you should read this if you are looking for something that's creepy and you like world building. But if the characters sound too unbearable... you might want to skip this one.