Jun 6, 2017

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey || Book Review

SERIES
The Girl With All The Gifts 2
PAGES
400
GENRE
Adult, Science Fiction
PUBLISHER
Orbit
PUBLISHED
May 2nd 2017
AVAILABLE

 

  GOODREADS SUMMARY  

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.

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  REVIEW  

book review rating 5 out of 5

ONE OF MY proudest book recommendation moments was on the day of my supervisor’s retirement, when I wished him well and handed him a wrapped, blue gem named Fellside. It was my last ditched attempt to prove that I could make a good book recommendation especially having failed in my previous attempt. Yes, I was on a mission. That mission ended (sigh of relief) weeks later when I received an e-mail from him expressing nothing but love for the book. Truth be told, I think I could have wrapped up any book by M.R. Carey and would have been equally successful, especially his latest masterpiece and the star of this review The Boy on the Bridge (The Girl With All The Gifts 2).

Though The Boy on the Bridge is the second installment in the series, it could be read as a standalone, consisting of a completely new cast of characters. However, I highly recommend starting from the beginning because the characters from both books do intersect. The Boy on the Bridge takes place a year after The Girl With All The Gifts. Global civilization has collapsed and the human species are at a near-extinction. The Cordyceps pathogen has metastasized to produce an entirely new pattern of symptoms, possibly resulting in more dangerous hungries (zombies). In the last remaining civilization of London, a team of 6 scientists and 6 soldiers sets a course to find a cure to save humankind.

With perfect pace and pitch, Mr. Carey builds insurmountable tensions between the crew and their improbable mission. These characters are morally complex, with questionable intentions and integrity. Mr. Carey is able to present these flawed characters in a way that somehow make me root for (most of) them. A growing sense of chill permeates through every page as the characters’ intentions are unraveled, leading to stunning twists that take the story to a fever-pitch.

On a deeper level, Mr. Carey’s talent lies in writing memorable and profound characters. He takes readers into the heart of friendship between 15-year-old Stephen Greaves, questionably autistic and possibly a genius; and Dr. Samrina Khan, an epidemiologist with an indomitable spirit. The acts of sacrifices demanded of them are absolutely haunting and beautiful.

The ending left me a bit heartbroken, but in a good and satisfying way that a thought-provoking story does. The characters linger in my soul and leaves me to ponder what happens next for them. Mr. Carey takes a terrifying, post-apocalyptic world that is full of despair, and plants a seed of hope—a hope that germinates in the harshest of conditions to become something that is both rare and magical. You won’t want to miss this phenomenal story, and neither will my retired supervisor!

 

  BOOKS IN SERIES  

(links to my review)

 

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Which preternatural species do you like to read about the most?

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