Sunday, October 28, 2012
YA Sci-Fi: The Bridge by Jane Higgins
Date: August 2011 (Australia); October 9, 2012 (US/CA)
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
Reading time: two days
From GoodReads: The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside. Nik is still in high school but destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn’t chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS is hunting for Nik. But Nik is on the run, with Sol’s sister Fyffe and ISIS hot on their trail. They cross the bridge in search of Sol, and Nik finds answers to questions he’d never dared to ask.
My review: Mixed feelings. Most of The Bridge seemed to be not very different from all the other recent dystopian-genre novels. The action was exciting and it maintained interest, but there weren't really any innovative ideas or situations kicked around. I felt like the various aspects of the plot - the politics in Southside, the attempted rescue of Sol, Nik's mysterious heritage - weren't entirely cohesive and well-developed. I was reminded most of all of a slightly disjointed, dystopian version of one of Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper books.
The ending, though, was not like all the other let's-write-a-bestselling-dystopian-trilogy conclusions. Not a cliffhanger, but really depressing and open. There's clearly room for developing this into a series, but in a way, I think the ending of The Bridge would better establish its uniqueness and pessimistic realism if the author doesn't try to continue the story.