Tuesday, April 17, 2018
The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey
If you enjoyed The Girl with All the Gifts, you will enjoy M.R. Carey's The Boy on the Bridge set ten years earlier. It is not as fast-paced, but the third person omniscient narrator gives fascinating insight into the internal thoughts, opinions, and secrets of each of the major characters.
Although Samrina Khan and Stephen Greaves share the limelight as dominant characters, the novel is something of an ensemble cast. Twelve people, a mixture of military and scientists and one adolescent boy, are sent out from Beacon in the armored vehicle/science lab named the Rosalind Franklin. Their mission is to find something that will enable humans to survive the hungries, those infected by the Cordyceps plague. Is there any place where the plague is inhibited by environment? Any way to develop a cure or vaccine?
In the close confinement of Rosie, the armored vehicle, tensions mount, personalities clash. Month after month, the crew faces down hungries, takes samples, perform experiments in the lab, but fail to find any positive information to fight the Cordyceps pathogen, which unchecked, will mean the end of the human race.
I don't want to say much more because I liked reading it without any spoilers or preconceived ideas. The book works perfectly well as a standalone. If you've read The Girl with All the Gifts, you already have insight into the world Carey has created, but it isn't necessary to understand or appreciate The Boy on the Bridge.
The structure and archetypes are similar to the previous novel, the style is terse and analytical (well, you are privy to the thoughts of military personnel and scientists, not writers or artists), yet even these these left-brain characters occasionally have their moments, and Carey includes some vivid descriptions of setting. I liked the present tense omniscient pov that gave insight into the reasoning of each of the characters, whether I liked the character or not.
And then there is an epilogue. Another excellent installment in this dystopian world, and I want more.
Read in January; blog review scheduled for April 17.
Science Fiction/Dystopian. May 2, 2018. Print length: 392 pages.