Reading The Boy on the Bridge brought me right back to the joy of reading The Girl with All The Gifts. It’s been over a year since I read that first book, but I was yet again surprised by Carey’s ability to balance science with story and to let us into the minds of our characters.
The Goodreads Synopsis doesn’t give much away:
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.
What blew me away were the characters. Carey consistently writes captivating characters who are human, flawed, and incredibly fascinating. By portraying our heroes and heroines in smaller groups, we are able to witness the group dynamics: the tension, the betrayal, and those little moments which tip the scales. These characters excel at being flawed, making ethically grey choices, and challenging our perception of what it means to be human. The multiple perspectives allow us to see the group coming together and breaking apart.
This entire book is like watching a car move in slow motion as it crashes. From the beginning, and if you’ve read the Girl With All The Gifts, this is a prequel, so it’s mesmerizing watching the events unfold when you know their ultimate fate. Because of this, throughout we have this almost palatable ominous foreboding sense. But it doesn’t diminish the absolute pleasure or awe watching it unfold before our very eyes. While you could read it as a stand alone, I would recommend reading it in the order of publication so you don’t cheat yourself out of this unraveling feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Themes of Humanity
Back to the themes of humanity. This adult science fiction novel takes me back to the place of possibility. Watching the characters challenge who humanity will be in the face of an overwhelming bleakness is fascinating. It is in these moments where we decide the essence of humanity. In this dying race against the odds and the clock do we stand up for democracy? (There are some really intriguing things that happen with democracy and ‘who knows best’). Do we stand up for freedom? For dignity? Are we judged by our compassion? Our sacrifice? These are complex and unanswerable questions. But Carey manages to challenge us and the characters within these pages.
If you enjoyed The Girl with All The Gifts I think you’ll love this sequel. I’d encourage you to try this, pick it up, and see, because while I do not normally enjoy these types of books, I am such a big fan. You may surprise even yourself.
Disclaimer: Thank you so much to Orbit for sending me this title. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
Halloween is coming up, what is your favorite spooky/scary book?
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