The Boy on the Bridge
by M.R. Carey
I’m working my way through my TBR list and this one has been on it since 2017. So I didn’t quite remember all the details of Girl With All the Gifts (and my have been confused by recollection of the ho hum movie version) and had to do alot of reading on Wikipedia. (don’t read this review if you haven’t read Girl With All the Gifts yet…part of the fun of that book is discovering why Hungries exist)
And then I kept going back to Wikipedia because I somehow missed the fact that this was a prequel not a sequel and was confused by the change in characters…..who all seemed very, very similar to the characters (rogue doctor who cares for a strange child, a strange child no one likes but is brilliant, a crusty old soldier, a craven/misguided scientist with no moral sense you love to hate, etc) from Girl With All the Gifts…but they weren’t.
Instead of muzzled Melanie the Hungry child, we get Stephen Greaves, autistic savant whose special way of looking at the world and early trauma leaves him fascinated with Hungries and desperate to help the one person in the world, Samrina Khan the scientist, he has bonded to. They are traveling through a dangerous world in a armored lab/tank called Rosie. (yes, the Rosie from the first book)
The parts about Stephen’s conjectures about how the parastitic fungi Cordyceps, how it reacts inside a human brain, why the feral children aren’t brainless zombies, and the use of heat blocker technology is fascinating stuff. And there’s lots of action and description of career soldiers using various weapons and battle plans to take on Hungries, etc. etc.
It just wasn’t significantly different from the first book. In fact, I couldn’t really tell I wasn’t reading the first book until the very, very end when we get a Melanie cameo which was fun.
So great fun, cool science, archetypical characters you love to hate, but nothing new. So 4 stars from me for literally rehashing the same dealio.