The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth Series #3)

The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth Series #3)

4.5 219
by Carrie Ryan

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There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. 

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There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.  
Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Grace Enriquez
Alone in deteriorating, postapocalyptic Dark City, Annah scrapes by each day searching for food and supplies and eluding the Unconsecrated, the zombie-like creatures who crave human blood and continuously threaten to overtake the city. She has also hardened herself against anything that could make her feel human again, especially since Elias abandoned her three years ago to join the Recruiters, the corrupt army that claims to protect remaining cities. Then, just as the city succumbs to the sheer multitude of Unconsecrated, Annah meets Catcher, who reminds her what it means to live and awakens emotions she thought she had buried. And when Catcher reunites her with Elias and her long-lost sister, Gabry, Annah must let down her guard if any of them are to survive. Ryan once again mesmerizes readers in her third novel in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series. Newcomers to this series will not feel disadvantaged, as Ryan smoothly weaves background context and story lines from the previous novels into the narration. The plot is rich with the suspense of horror and the action and introspection of postapocalyptic genres. While some characters seem flat, Annah conveys believable pluck and determination that will keep readers rooting for her success, unlike the strong-willed female protagonists of other recent young adult series. Overall, the pervasive threat of the Unconsecrated, the brutality of the Recruiters, and the remarkable bleakness of the setting are the novel's most compelling elements, sure to keep readers consumed in the book's pages. Reviewer: Grace Enriquez
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—What would you do if you knew you only had a few days left to live? This question haunts Annah nearly as much as the ever-present Unconsecrated (zombies) that thirst for human blood in this, the final chapter in Ryan's thriller/romance trilogy. Every day in the Dark City is a struggle for survival, but when a series of mishaps unites Annah with the mysterious Catcher, she wonders if she has finally found a reason to live in a world overwhelmed by death. The well-paced story churns along, fueled by an overpowering sense of dread and Annah's immediate narrative voice. Though unafraid to go into gory detail, Ryan skillfully balances the gross-out bits with romance and beautifully written passages highlighting hope amid chaos and despair. The easily identifiable characters are developed well; even some of the zombies are shown in three dimensions. Some readers may grow tired of Annah's rather repetitive (and often annoying) self-reflection, but the romantic entanglements and plentiful flesh-eating action should keep the teeming hordes of zombie fans sated.—Sam Bloom, Groesbeck Branch Library, Cincinnati, OH

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Forest of Hands and Teeth Series, #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.22(w) x 5.82(h) x 1.32(d)
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Read an Excerpt


This city used to be something once. I’ve seen pictures of the way it gleamed—sun so bright off windows it could burn your eyes. At night, lights shouted from steel like catcalls, loud and lewd, while all day long white-gloved men rushed to open doors for women who tottered about on skyscraper heels.
I wonder sometimes what happened to those women when the Return hit—how they were able to run and survive with such absurd contraptions strapped to their feet. How different the world must have been before—safe and comfortable.
The City’s nothing like that anymore. Now, bare beams scrape the sky like splintered finger bones. Half the high-rises have fallen, and scavengers pilfered the intricately scrolled ironwork long ago. There’s not much of anything left anymore, just the fear that seeps fog-like through the streets.
Fear of the Recruiters. Fear of the Unconsecrated. Fear of tomorrow.
Even so, this city’s been my home. Other than the village I lived in as a child, this is the only world I’ve known. It’s sharp-cornered and raw but it’s a refuge for those with a burn to survive. You pay your rents, you follow the rules and you do what it takes to keep living.
Which is why I find myself on the Neverlands side of the Palisade wall that cordons off and protects the Dark City as the last dregs of evening slide across the sky. This is the place where Elias would go when he was desperate for money, desperate to trade so we could pay our rent and stay in our tiny flat for another year. It’s the place where anything can be found for the right trade, and where, after the blade of my only knife broke this afternoon, I’ve come for help.
Clutching the replacement blade tightly, I’ve started to cross over one of the bridges strung between two buildings when I hear a deep rumbling cough. It’s approaching dusk and storm clouds hover over the river, causing the light to drip a dull green. I shuffle faster toward the next roof, determined to get back to my flat in the Dark City before full night, but as soon as my foot lands on the rickety bridge connecting the buildings a voice calls out, “Wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
I freeze, the frayed rope railing in one hand. I’ve been alone long enough to have learned to look out for myself, yet something about the warning makes me hesitate. Just as I start to take another step the voice says, “Look down,” and I do.
The alley a dozen stories below is dim and choked in shadows, but even so I see something moving. A moan floats up, echoing softly between the buildings as it rises. The sun breaks through a narrow gap in the clouds and the light reflects down the alley, glinting briefly off what looks like eyes and a row of cracked teeth.
As my gaze adjusts I can make out dozens of clawing fingers reaching for me amid a pile of broken bodies that should have died from their fall but didn’t. Or maybe they did die and infection’s brought them back as plague rats. I shiver, disgust rolling through me.
Carefully, I inch back onto the roof, noticing how the wooden boards I was just about to walk onto are rotten. One step more and I’d have been down on that heap as well.
“You’re the first one to listen to me and not take a dive,” the voice says, and I spin, pulling my new knife between us. A woman sits tucked between two crumbling stone chimneys. In her hand she clutches a charred wooden pipe that feebly chokes out smoke.
I glance around the roof, expecting some sort of trap. The woman gestures toward my knife. “Don’t bother,” she says. “Just me up here.”
She puts the pipe back in her mouth, the end of it burning a bright red, and in that instant I get a clear look at her face: thick dark lines painted around eyes smudged by tears or sweat or both. Then the ember fades, pulling her back into shadow.
But not before I see the raw circle around her wrist, festering with infection. The flesh edging the wound puffs and oozes, and I recognize it as a bite. I pull my knife back up between us, refusing to let it shake.
I’m usually pretty good at avoiding any confrontation with the Unconsecrated. No matter how careful you are, there’s always the risk that something will go wrong and they’ll get their teeth into you one way or another.
The woman shrugs and inhales. The light makes her skin glow again and I watch how her hand trembles. Cracks etch through the powder she used to make her old skin appear blushing and fresh—it looks like a fractured mirror instead.
I think of my own face, the scars overlaying the left side of my body like a thick spider web. Her cracks can be washed away. Mine can’t.
It’s easy to see that she’s close to the end—when the infection will kill her. I glance down again at the pile of bodies below, their feeble moans filtering into the night. She’ll be one of them soon. If she’s lucky someone will take care of her before she turns. If she isn’t…
I swallow.
With a sickening heaviness in my stomach I realize I’m the one who’s going to have to kill her. It makes me feel off balance and I take a few steps away from the edge of the building, suddenly unsettled by such height.
The last of the evening light slides down my body, a final brush of heat, before disappearing for what will be yet another night of forever. The woman’s eyes aren’t on my knife; instead they focus on my face.
She inhales but her chest barely moves. She considers me a moment, staring at my scars. “There are men who like ’em like you—messed up,” she says, nodding. Her gaze slips past me back down the island toward the ruins of the bigger buildings of the Dark City in the distance.
No they don’t, I think.
She exhales a wavering line of smoke. “But more ’n likely, they’re the ones that want to do the messing.” She pushes a thumb into the corner of her mouth, as if tidying up a lip stain that she’s no longer wearing, the gesture a habit of so many years that’s become useless.
I should say something. I should be comforting or consoling or helpful. This woman’s infected and she’s facing the final moments of her life and I realize how utterly useless I am faced with the enormity of what’s going on. Instead I clear my throat. How in the world would I know what could give this woman comfort?

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The Dark and Hollow Places: Forest of Hands and Teeth Series, Book 3 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 219 reviews.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This is one heck of a series. If anything it just keeps better and better. This is a continuation from the second book in Annah's point of view. And I admit, it was one good POV. Annah is waiting. Waiting for Elias to come back to her. It's been year and he is still not there. She is determined to get back to her sister and begins looking for her. What Annah finds is not what she expected. Let me tell you that Ms. Ryan did a great job describing the emotions off Annah. If one thing I enjoy in a book is being able to feel the characters as if my own. I like to read the story and walk in their feet. I felt Annah hearts in my hand. Annah is a strong girl and knows her place. She believes herself to be ugly and keeps all the guilt and hurt inside. The reunion was...well mind blowing. Ms. Ryan did an excellent job describing and detailing everything. The hurt, the pain, the betrayal and most of the all, the jealousy. Even I was jealous at what I was reading! Ms. Ryan had a way of writing her characters to life. They felt so real, I felt them. Catcher is a guy who is also broken like Annah. I knew they had a instant connection it was just a matter of time of which would fall first. Catcher held Annah and gave her strength. They have both been hurt the same ways. They had a bond and shared the same pain. I am happy that they were able to confide in each other. Overall this book is just AMAZING! Simply amazing and beautiful. I can't even began to describe how much this book is a page turner. A magical page turner that will turn your life upside down.
SaraO More than 1 year ago
Annah and Catcher vs. Elias and Gabry. I didn¿t realize how shiny Elias and Gabry¿s relationship was so clean. How fresh they seemed in the world full of broken people. I also didn¿t realize how unique and idyllic life in Vista had been for Gabry and Catcher growing up. Just makes me think back to the night Gabry and Catcher jumped the fence. At the time you knew it wasn¿t smart¿but the further away from that night we get¿the more of this world we see¿the more your heart aches, as a reader, for what those teens left behind that night. For what they unleashed in their community; a place that was peaceful before they opened Pandora¿s box. I was happy that in this installment Elias and Gabry¿s relationship was strong. Obviously they¿re being trailed by their past relationships. And those past relationships are very broken people. Annah has spent her life wounded and left behind¿as evidenced physically by her scars. Catcher is living in the inbetween; not yet unconsecrated and yet too scared of his infection to fully live. Ryan toes the line with this set of four. Elias and Gabry could have induced bitterness in both the reader and in Annah and Catcher with their display of happiness. In The Dark and Hollow Places we¿ve very much left behind Gabry and Elias¿s issues¿so they seem pretty perfect in comparison to Catcher and Annah. But, luckily, Catcher and Annah are aware they¿re broken. They know they need to fix something in themselves¿and they know that they share a bond. Catcher and Annah can help each other grow and fully live life. *Sigh* I loved watching them fall in love. This book has yet another zombie surge. Another city falls. Instead of feeling redundant I felt as though it seemed appropriate for the trajectory of society. That¿s honestly my favorite thing about these novels. Ryan set her world on a path of apocalyptic nature and she never deviated. Instead she gave her characters strength and hope for the future¿against catastrophic odds. I thought I would be content to see the end of this series happen with Catcher and Annah¿I¿m not! lol. I¿d love to see them survive on the ship¿find other pockets of people in this world¿watch the world finally end or sprout seeds for a new, stronger generation of humans. I loved that these were zombie books without being zombie books. And the way you fleshed out the post-apocalyptic world was beautiful. It was scary, and logical, and wonderfully effective. It¿s a world I don¿t want to see end¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved all three books, but this one has to be my favorit. However, this book is a cliffhanger. I have heard this one is the last book and i really hope that not true. This book is great and even with the spoiler about the end i hope you will read this book. It will be great. Plus if anyone hears anything about the fouth book post it somewhere
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend picked up the forest of hands and teeth and told me it was the best zombie apocalypse novel ever. I agreed. What i like most about this series is how every relationship is intertwined....its amazing... I thought it was interesting when a cheerleader (out of everybody i know) picked this book up and read it. Read. Its awesome. You HAVE to start with the first book first to understand everything.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Out of all the books in the series i liked this one the best. The forest of hands and teeth was kinda annoying with marys fixation on the ocean and the deadtossed waves was a little funky with the elias thing but this was the most beautiful. Even if you dont read the others i think you should read this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well i want to read this book but i aint goin to pay for it. Naw, i dont want ta pay for it!!!!!! The library doesnt have the book. Dont you just hate it whan you read a book and maybey the second one and when you go to get the third they dont have it. It makes me soooo mad. For all you people that constantly read, yall want to get a big group and go to the library? I NEED THA OTHER BOOOOOKK. What am i going to do for the next few days. I could be done with the book in 3-5 days.(if i aint got nutten to do) help this fellow book worm. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book soo much its my favriot out of the whole series :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like her previous booms this one follows character we already know and meet a new ones as well. Beautifully written. Always leaves you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried that this book was over and I hate to read. The ending was perfect in so many ways but after you still want more because it is so amazing!
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
This time the story is told from Annah's perspective. I really enjoyed seeing this world through her eyes. Each book brought us a different heroine that offered something different to the overall series. Annah showed the most growth as a character. I loved watching her story unfold. Carrie Ryan is an exceptional writer and story teller. She captures the good sides and the bad sides of humanity and weaves them into beautiful and believable stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best of the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read the first two books and it blew my expectations out of the water! Can't wait to get the money to read this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They need to make books in the guys p.o.v
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series was by far the best thing that i have ever read. It captured such a disturbing essence. Gawd i freakin loved it, it deffinately changed the way that i looked at the world and it has only been a few days since i have read this series, i honestly was unable to read anything else. Same thing happened to me when i read the hunger games. I just can't stop thinkin about it. My fav character has to be Annah she is so daring and beholds such an apalling past and when cather comes into this book her past comes back to haunt her, the dark city is such a vast and decolate place that it gives me this chill that overtakes my body leaving me with this dark hole of emptiness in my heart, tgis author created the most beautiful and captivating series that i had to stop reading this book for a couple of minuets and do a spazz dance in facrti am spazzing right now. Tralalalala loved it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Action packed!