I love reading, and I love Dystopian fiction. But let me tell you one thing I DON’T love: reading a great new book, getting to the end and discovering that it’s the first of a trilogy and that the second book hasn’t even been published yet. Yep, I’m starting to get jack of trilogies.
So when I began reading Jane Higgins’ ‘The Bridge’, I steeled myself for yet another long haul. But I was pleasantly surprised. ‘The Bridge’ is a standalone book; and it’s quite good!
Nik has grown up in Cityside, where ISIS is in charge, keeping the hostiles from Southside at bay. The hostiles, desperate to cross the bridge, have attacked Nik’s school – the only place he’s known as home. Very quickly, he discovers that not all is as it seems. ISIS is after him. The hostiles have taken the bridges and kidnapped Fyffe’s brother, Sol. In a matter of hours, Nik is on the run and there seems to be only one place to go – across the bridge.
Higgins has created a really bleak and interesting world in her novel. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to killing off characters, so be warned. There are shades of ‘The Hunger Games’ in this novel; it’s very gritty and violent. In some ways, though, I thought it dealt with violence and tragedy more realistically. Like life, everything happens quickly and sometimes unexpectedly, with little time to think.
Ironically, the thing I like about this novel is also the cause of my main criticism. I love the fact that it’s a standalone book, but I feel Higgins wrapped up the ending too quickly. Maybe this is because I’m used to the long drawn out conclusions of a series. Either way, I really liked this novel and would recommend it to Year 8 students and above.