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Literature / The Boy on the Bridge

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Dr. Fournier, in an inspirational speech, likens the crew to the wise men in the Bible who followed a star. Nobody else in the crew finds the analogy plausible or appealing. There are twelve of them, for one thing—more like the apostles than the wise men, if they were in the Jesus business in the first place, and they are in no sense following a star.
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The Boy on the Bridge is the prequel/sequel to The Girl With All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey. In T.G.W.A.T.G., the main characters stumble upon an abandoned mobile research facility/zombie-proof tank. This land leviathan is named Rosalind Franklin; the last act of the story takes place in and around Rosie. It is never explained how the vehicle came to be where they discovered it, or what happened to the crew who ventured out past the gates of Beacon in search of a cure.

T.B.O.T.B......IS that story.

To anyone who's read the first book, this novel is on some level a Locked Room Mystery.

To anyone interested in scientific discovery, it is about the desperate search for a cure to the Hungry Pathogen.

To anyone looking for a top-notch thriller, it is that too.

And......

In the first chapter, it is revealed that one of the twelve crewmembers is pregnant ("...seven weeks into a fifteen-month mission...").

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What follows, from this premise, is—very simply—epic.


The Boy On The Bridge includes the following tropes:

  • Apocalypse How: The story begins without much detail on the world (being very focused on the lives of its crew and immediate surroundings), but is firmly a Class 1 world. And already teetering on the edge of 2.
  • Ass Kicking Equals Authority: Often subverted and avoided—the potential for violence is always near at hand, but the characters struggle to maintain composure/balance.
  • Big Damn Heroes: "....they've probably got a couple of seconds before they have to deal with vertical incoming. But Rosie comes first and she comes like thunder, the sweetest sound Mc Queen has ever heard."
  • Constantly Curious: Stephen, like Melanie, is insatiably curious—although more compulsively so.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Stephen. Poor, poor Stephen.
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  • Developing Doomed Characters: For readers of TGWATG, knowing that Rosie will eventually be abandoned somewhere in the overgrown labyrinth of London means that we've gotta assume that not everyone in the crew is gonna make it to the Credits.
  • Dwindling Party: From that initial crew of twelve apostles....
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate.
  • Flesh-Eating Hungries
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: most of the crew refer to Greaves as 'the Robot', for his odd affect and social anxiety.
  • Last-Name Basis: Characters shift between first or last-name basis at certain points. Sometimes the narrative will use one while characters are doing the other.
  • Mama Bear: Rina, to Stephen.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: They are called "hungries."
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They breed.
  • Technically Living Zombie: The hungries are technically alive, because the fungus operates their nervous system. Moreso for the hungry children, where the fungus acts as more symbiotic. And also because they develop other qualities befitting higher lifeforms, such as rituals and abstract thought.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Stephen.
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