The Boy on the Bridge

This sequel to the Girl With All the Gifts is a great stand-alone book. Carey does spend more time on the science of Cordyceps, or at least the pseudoscience. In the real world, there are some 400 species of Cordyceps and all do live inside other plants or animals. Some do attack and zombieze their hosts. The most common targets are ants and tarantulas.

The book, The Last of US (by Neil Druckmann, 2013) and the video game of the same name, may have started the trend that Mike Carey jumped on with Girl in 2016 and Boy in 2017.

I am not a fan of dysfunctional or apocalyptic stories. But when a great story comes along that is not just interested in blood and guts, I take a look. As with Melanie in the first book, Carey has created a great character in the autistic genius, Stephen. As a teenager, he invented the b-blocker to mask the human odor so that the hungries–Cordyceps infected humans who mindlessly eat any mammal they can catch–can’t detect them. In this book, he develops a  temporary vaccine for the plague, but that creates more problems.

I liked the Girl so much that I was doubtful that Carey could match that high standard. He did.

Mike Lawrence

The Girl With All the Gifts

Carey, better known to many as Mike Carey, is the author of three books, several comics, movies, and a radio script. He writes post-apocalyptic stories that are more human than most authors can deliver.

Melanie is a second generation hungry. Hungries are humans infected with a fungus that destroys the brain, except that children born to the infected have some immunity, so can live long lives with fully functioning brains.

Either way, hungries eat only meat, and, as you might recall, humans are loaded with meat. With most of the world overtaken by zombie-like, flesh-eating humans, a small research station is created in England to study the kids and find out why they are able to function so well, hoping that will lead to a cure.

Because the kids eat people (only the uninfected) they have to be locked up even as they are studied.

I am not a big fan of the genre, but I do like a tense, fast-paced story. This is it.

Carey wrote a last chapter which was cut from the book. If you want to read it after you finish the book, you will find it here.

Mike Lawrence