Monday, March 5, 2018

Review: The Boy on the Bridge

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
The Girl With All the Gifts #2
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Source: Macmillan
Date Read: 2/16/18 to 2/19/18
392 pages

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.

To where the monsters lived.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

The Boy on the Bridge is the sequel, or really the companion novel, of the The Girl With All The Gifts. The latter is now a movie and has won a whole bunch of awards, hence the reason behind my low expectations for the follow-up. Yet in the end, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Boy on the Bridge.

The main reason why I consider this a companion novel is because we're introduced to new characters, Stephen and Dr. Khan, and plus a bunch of soldiers and other doctors trying to find a cure for zombification (which of course only escalates things further). Dr. Khan pretty much heads up the research station, and the beginning of the novel focuses more on her. We later meet Stephen, a young boy yet also a genius, who constantly risks his life by going outside to observe the zombies. He seems to be autistic, but it's only implied as in a world so far gone, labels no longer matter.

Some Things I Loved:
  • There's a wide variety of characters that we get to know along the journey of finding a cure for the zombification. Obviously, chaos and death ensue.
  • Have I mentioned that they travel in this gigantic land ship? Think Howl's Moving Castle here.
  • ZOMBIE CHILDREN. What fun.
  • Ties up some aspects of the story that The Girl With All the Gifts does not.

Some Things I Did Not:
  • Unlike The Girl With All the Gifts, there's not as much thought-provoking existentialism going on.
  • Not much really happens, making it hard to really get into the novel.
  • It's totally predictable.

In the end, I enjoyed this novel much more than I thought I would, especially because I just couldn't put it down for some reason. Which again, was surprising to me since I didn't think this would live up to The Girl With All the Gifts. Of course, I felt like the latter was much more unique in that way, hence why it probably got so popular. I would probably recommend this to readers who liked The Girl With All the Gifts, but just don't expect it to be as amazing.