The Boy on the Bridge (The Girl With All the Gifts #2) by M.R. Carey #SpooktasticReads

Spook

mage credit: Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

theboyThe Boy on the Bridge is my final review for Wyrd and Wonder’s SpooktasticReads event.  I’ve loved the inspiration that this event has given me to read all sorts of creepy, spooky or chilling reads and The Boy on the Bridge fits in perfectly because whilst this isn’t a scary read as such it is about a post apocalyptic world, overrun with Hungries (think zombies) and the potential extinction of the human race.

I genuinely don’t know how to start this review so I’m going to go with my overall feeling upon finishing.  Wow.  The end of this book was nothing short of amazing, I kid you not, it gave me goosebumps and set my mind racing.  I can’t deny that part way through the read I was thinking that this couldn’t possible top or match The Girl With All the Gifts.  To an extent having already read book 1, and this being described by some as a companion novel or prequel to that book, you expect to have lost the element of surprise, and that much is true with regard to the plague (for want of a better word), but in spite of that there’s a gripping story as we follow a number of people, scientists and soldiers, as they travel the country, cooped up in an armoured vehicle and just wait for heads to start to butt.  Definitely a few great character studies here and some desperate struggles along the way.  However, with Book 1 in mind you can’t help trying to put together the pieces of how everything fits together and obviously you’re more than well aware of what the real threat really is – and it isn’t the hungries per se.  On reflection I actually think that’s part of the beauty of this book.  Misdirection.  Whilst you’re reading with the first book in mind, thinking ‘how does this person fit into what comes later’, the author is pulling the rug out from under your feet because the eventual conclusion to this story – and I won’t spoil things so don’t worry – actually jumps forward in time. It’s totally not what I expected and I was most happily surprised.

So, what does this book bring to the table?  Well, as mentioned there’s this claustrophobic story as we watch a team of people fall apart slowly but surely.  There’s betrayal and conspiracy, chases and death along the way. We have an unexpected event that plays a central role which I won’t discuss and obviously there’s the desperate attempt to find a cure – which actually becomes the catalyst for a couple of other events – which again, I can’t really elaborate upon without spoiling.  Oh dear, how to write a review when everything you want to discuss involves spoilers.  Look, I’m not going to be that person, the one who spoils the read for others so I’m going to move on to some other thoughts instead.

One of my favourite books, and quite possibly the book that was the inspiration for so many later zombie stories, is I am Legend.  The ending of that book is also, for me, jaw dropping and amazing and well, all sorts of other things that I can’t even put into words.  Now, clearly this is just my interpretation but The Boy on the Bridge is an odyssey to survival that gives a little nod in the direction of I am Legend .  Again, it’s really difficult to say what I want to say without spoilers but I just loved the way this concludes and without doubt it changed a 4 star read into a 5 star read for me.  I love endings that make me think and I now find myself in a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts as I try to backtrack through both books in an attempt to place all my thoughts in order because basically, the ending to this changes everything else.  That is all.  Is that a big enough teaser to make you pick it up – I hope so.

Anyway, I have no doubt that this is quite possibly the most annoying review I’ve ever written, not to mention frustrating and even medal award winning in being the only review ever to use about 800 words saying very little at all.  With the benefit of hindsight you could have stopped reading after that ‘wow’ in the second paragraph.

The TL:DR version is this:  read The Girl With All the Gifts, take a moment and then, read The Boy on the Bridge.  It’s that easy.  I’ll even throw in a pretty please for good measure.

For information, both books are standalone novels but personally I would suggest it’s necessary to read both, and in the order of release, in order to gain the best from both.

Where I got a copy: bought (this was the audio version and it was very well done).

 

 

Advertisements