Tries to Recapture Magic of First Book in Series and Fails

The Boy on the Bridge - M.R. Carey

Well I am glad that I waited for my library to release the hold on this one. I have to say that from beginning to end this book was not worth the wait and my anticipation of it at all. "The Boy on the Bridge" moves so slow that I found myself bored out of my mind. The epilogue is the only reason why I gave this thing 3 stars. And even that is me being generous since Carey does not do a very good job of setting things up and takes away from the really shocker of an ending in "The Girl With All the Gifts" with his needs to make things into a HEA situation. 

 

"The Boy on the Bridge" seriously is just "The Girl With All the Gifts" with new characters and names. We have a special girl (boy in this one). A scientist (teacher) who has maternal feelinfs for the girl (boy). A couple of shoot and ask later soldiers. A scientist who is secretly up to no good and the rest of the crew is in the dark. I was very disappointed that Carey didn't really try to do something new with this world that he created that enthralled so many readers in the first book.

 

"The Boy on the Bridge" follows multiple points of view (just like "The Girl With All the Gifts" did) but unlike with that book, I didn't read with breathless anticipation. There is no reveal since we already know the world that these characters inhabit. I just found myself getting very irritated due to the jumping around of the POVs. And it felt like Carey through the rules that he had established in this new universe out of the window when it came to this group finding a "cure". It just didn't even make any sense and I tried to ask one of my friends who is a biology major and me running through information to her made her metaphorically tear her hair out. She just rolled her eyes at me. So for me the science didn't ring true and I just finally gave up to just get to the end of the book.

 

"The Boy on the Bridge" follows a science/soldier crew of the Rosalind Franklin. For readers who didn't read "The Girl With All the Gifts" I suggest you go back and read that book first. This book is essence both a sequel and prequel. The events described in this book occur before "The Girl With All the Gifts."  

 

The crew consists of 12 people. The most important people to this story in my opinion is a 15 year old boy named Stephen Graves, scientist Samrina (Rina) Khan, Dr. Fouriner, Lieutenant McQueen, and Colonel Carlisle.  

 

Stephen it appears suffers from autism. I honestly don't know if that is accurate or not, and I hate making sweeping generalizations about characters, but I think that is what Carey is going for here due to how he describes Stephen unable to look people in the eye, not liking to be touched, etc. Stephen is part of this expedition due to many people planning hopes on him to find some sort of cure for the zombie infection that has wiped out most of the world at this point. Stephen is also responsible for creating  the e-blocker we heard about in the last book so we get why he is part of this expedition. 

 

Maternal figure scientist Rina is concerned about Stephen to the detriment of everyone else around here. Unlike with Miss Justineau, Rina just doesn't do a thing for me. Probably because there are other circumstances happening to Rina that I just took with a huge grain of salt. What befalls her by the end of the book just aggravated me to no end. I just didn't get the feeling Carey knew what to do with her at all. 

 

Dr. Fournier was a waste of time in my opinion. None of his actions make sense and I was bored with him. 

 

Lieutenant McQueen was another character I just didn't believe for a second his motivations (he blames Carlisle for the state of things since he didn't take over things in Beacon and let others do damage) and he proceeds to do a series of dumb things that you would think someone at his level would have better sense about.


Colonel Carlisle was another figure who seemed to sleepwalk through this whole book til almost the end. I honestly didn't believe his ignoring what was happening around him because he is so coded to taking orders from those in authority. 

 

I think that the writing was not as great as the previous book. This book plods along til you get to the 80 percent point. I could not believe how slow things were. And Stephen and his whole shtick for me ran very thin by the time we get to the end. I just didn't believe there was not another solution out there and that Stephen was very short sighted about things.

 

This once again takes place in an Britain that is forever changed by the hungries and what survivors have had to do to stop the coming infections. We hear some references to the junkers in this one, but they are not as present as they were in the last book. 


The ending didn't really make a lot of sense to me at all. I can't even get into it without spoiling. But even though I found it terribly implausible, it just worked better for me than the majority of the book.