The Bridge takes place in a city divided: the northern part, Cityside, is held by ISIS, an elite organization of agents trying to hold the bridges spanning the the river, across which the Southsiders make plans to take over the rest of the city. Nik lives Cityside, studying hard in hopes of being recruited by ISIS, but when his school is suddenly bombed by the Southsiders, those plans quickly fall apart. Not only have the Southsiders taken the bridges, but his friend Fyffe’s brother, Sol, has disappeared in the chaos. Despite the danger, Nik and Fyffe set off across the bridge into hostile Southsider territory to try to rescue the young boy.
The action starts right away and doesn’t let up in this exciting post-apocalyptic tale. The book is fast-paced and captivating, and the characters are interesting. Jane Higgins’s simple but eloquent writing style had me glued to the pages until the very end of the book, and The Bridge kept me guessing as to what would happen next, then proceeded to overturn each and every one of my expectations. Although there were some minor unresolved plot points that I would have liked to know more about, these did not take away from the experience of reading and enjoying the novel.
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by the originality of the book. Jane Higgins takes an unusual and thought-provoking approach to the post-apocalyptic genre and the complex subject of taking sides in a war, and this novel really made a strong impression on me. The Bridge is an engrossing page-turner that teen fans of science fiction won’t be able to put down. Recommended for ages 14 and up.