The world has gone to pot. The Cordyceps fungus, a “zombie” affliction previously natural to ants, has turned the world into a dead one. Humans are now infected, and transmit the disease through saliva (with teeth), almost instantly turning victim into predator. A team of scientists and soldiers travel through England towards Scotland on the Rosalind Franklin aka “Rosie,” collecting samples to come up with something to stop or slow this epidemic. The story centers around scientist Dr. Samirah Khan and her “adopted” son, Stephen. Khan is pregnant, a scary prospect under these new circumstances. And the rotten cherry on this garbage cake is a horde of strange children who feed like hungries, but are sentient.
The Boy On The Bridge by M.R. Carey sets us back right in the middle of the unforgiving “hungry” world Carey created with The Girl With All The Gifts.
Khan rescued Stephen when he was small, but Stephen was and is different – he cannot lie, doesn’t like to be touched, and withdraws into himself. He is such a genius that some think he’s deficient. He is fiercely loyal to Khan, which plays out in heartbreaking ways throughout this novel.
This new world that Carey has built is so fascinating and thick, even more so than Kirkman’s. Although Khan and Stephen are central, Khan (and her eventual newborn) are more the catalyst for the fascinating boy.
The novel is stuffed with the moral and ethical dilemmas that partner with dystopian society. As these scientists strain their brains for a vaccine or cure, there are not really options on how things can be tested. The entire climax hinders on this question.
Carey’s use of language and imagery is fascinating, even simple sentences like, “Nubs of bone glisten in the blackness of the wound,” paint a shivering picture.
The almost 400 pages fly by in an adrenaline rush, as if you too, are trying to escape the hungries.
I had not read The Girl With All The Gifts before reading this one and it’s not necessary. The book was thoroughly enjoyable and terrifying on its own. I will be reading the first one though, now that I am captivated by this world.
If you couldn’t tell from the gushing above, I highly recommend this book.
From the author of USA Today bestseller The Girl With All the Gifts, a terrifying new novel set in the same post-apocalyptic world.
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.