The Boy on the Bridge

February 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

bridgeThe Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey

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As much as I enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts, I knew I would be jumping into The Boy on the Bridge as quickly as I could. It didn’t hurt that I had just watched the movie version of the first book before starting this one, so I had (mostly) the events fresh in my mind going into this book.

Boy is more a prequel than a sequel, as it takes us onboard the Rosalind Franklin before Melinda and the other humans find it in Girl. Like Girl, it focuses on a military team and a scientific team as they work on finding a cure to the hungry plague, and like Girl, it has a focus on a mother figure and a young, intelligent, awkward teenager. The similarities between the two stories are strong, but Carey still manages to tell a story that isn’t a carbon copy of the first.

Carey again captures his characters well, giving them depth and clarity beyond what they do in the story. Kahn, the mother figure, and Greaves, the teenager, are the central characters, and their relationship, while already important at the start of the book, develops over the course of the story. The interactions with the military and science teams is about what one would expect — low-level contempt for each other, save for the ones who show true humanity and gain respect from the other group — but who the characters are is something larger.

I enjoyed The Boy on the Bridge as much as The Girl with All the Gifts, except for one thing — the ending. (Spoilers ahead.) The conclusion of the main plot was satisfying, though about as bleak as that of Girl, but Carey tacks on an epilogue set twenty years later that feels included for those readers who didn’t like how Girl ended. On the one hand, it reinforces how that book ended (Melanie and those like her are the new humans, and those without the fungus are long gone), but on the other hand, it makes the story end on a too-happy note. It feels a bit forced, like Carey felt the need to include hope for the humans, when the original ending was strong for bucking that trend.

Regardless, readers who enjoyed the first book in the series should read this one, too. The jury’s out on how they might feel about the epilogue, but I think that depends a lot on how they felt about the ending of Girl. Either way, Carey’s talents shine here as much as they did in the previous book, so it makes sense to keep reading the series.

Started: November 14, 2017
Finished: November 20, 2017

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