Series: The Girl With All The Gifts #2
Published by Orbit on May 2nd, 2017
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
Sexual Content: References to sex.
Reviewed by: Kim
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.
The events of THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE overlap with what happens in THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS. It isn’t necessary to have read the first book, there are definite points that will be less fun if you’re not caught up on what happened in the first book.
What I loved best about THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE was the the way the military and scientific communities played off each other. It was my favourite aspect of the original Day of the Dead film by Romero, and Carey perfectly captures the different outlooks and goals the two communities have, even when they are forced to work together for months at a time. They’re trapped inside an armoured vehicle for months, occasionally going out to collect samples (of flesh and brain from the hungries outside). The feeling of helplessness and claustrophobia are nearly overwhelming as the reader is taken along this ride.
The first book featured a very clever child with a twist, and so does this one. Stephen is brilliant, complicated and either autistic or suffering from PTSD. He was found on the way out of London, the corpses of his parents wrapped around him like a pair of parentheses protecting him from the hungries. He’s been taken in by one of the scientists and has since made multiple discoveries to protect humans, such as the gel that blocks sweat and body odor, allowing people to go out into infested areas without attracting attention. Some of his discoveries have also been claimed by other scientists, but he doesn’t care. He’s looking for a cure, not glory.
One of the best things about this series is that no one is sacred. With such a small cast of characters, readers feel each death profoundly, but there is no room for hurt feelings; just a plot that runs along, springing discovery or disaster one after another.
It’s hard to describe post-apocalyptic fiction as hopeful, but this book has so much good in it (and of course, evil to offset it). The entire thing had me gasping and clutching my hands as I read it, as powerless to resist the pull of the story as a hungry getting a whiff of a human being.
- For more zombies from a scientific point of view, try the Newsflesh and Parasitology series by Mira Grant, or Monster Island by David Wellington.