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Double-Crossing the Bridge

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“Sover’s ability to gross out readers is nothing short of gleeful…Comedy-fantasy fans with strong stomachs will enjoy this book.” – Kirkus Reviews

Rent in New Metta is through the cavern ceiling. When Granu barely survives her first gig teaching students who attempt to fillet her for lunch, the baby-eating troll ends up unemployed and facing eviction. Granu's only prospect for income is grueling work in the tar pits. That is, until her playboy best friend devises a perfect, if suicidal, scheme—a heist!

The Covered Bridge, the largest source of income for the city, has New Metta well under hoof. In a week, TCB Corporation pulls in enough cash to buy a small country. It's the ideal target, but security is top-notch. Granu needs three things to survive this heist: a crew of specialists, impenetrable sun protection, and gallons of grog.

There’s just one thing Granu doesn’t plan for—those damn meddling billy goats.

329 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 2, 2019

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About the author

Sarah J. Sover

6 books39 followers
Sarah J. Sover’s comedic fantasy novel Double-Crossing the Bridge became an Amazon Best Seller in humorous fantasy. Her short fiction appears in both exclusive JordanCon Anthologies, and she is a contributor for Dan Koboldt’s Putting the Fact in Fantasy, releasing from Writer’s Digest Books in 2022. When she’s not writing, Sarah is busy raising small tyrants, creating art, paneling at conventions, and sipping a good IPA.

https://linktr.ee/SarahJ.Sover

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
Profile Image for Sean Gibson.
Author 6 books5,654 followers
December 2, 2020
Sover’s clever tale of a gang of misfit trolls trying to pull a heist on a corrupt corporation that oversees the collection of bridge tolls from those stupid humans (all while fending off shenanigans from a blight of bullying billy goats) is by turns funny, suspenseful, and gross (in the best possible way; YOU try describing adolescent trolls coming into their adulthood and ripping their peers to shreds in the process in a delicate way).

Worth a go for comedic fantasy fans and for those who wish Danny Ocean had been a disgusting, corpulent creature who liked to eat babies and fried fairy wings.
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 6 books39 followers
August 31, 2022
Thank you for your interest in my debut novel!

I wasn't going to review it at all, but I bobbled my phone, and Goodreads recorded that I rated it 4 stars. 4 stars! Then I tried to clear it and about blew it up, so here we are, correcting the record.

I wrote this zany book purely for my own entertainment, and there's no way I'd rate it less than 5 stars. I've always said I was hilarious. Just ask my husband.
2 reviews
July 2, 2018
I had the pleasure of reading this book before publication. I thought it was hilarious! Great characters, and a whole lot of fun!
Profile Image for Dan.
Author 16 books98 followers
August 8, 2019
If you ever wanted a story filled with monsters, mayhem, and less-than-master criminals, then DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE is the novel for you!

Sarah J. Sover's debut is a skillful blend of traditional heist, absurdist fantasy, and satirical takes on modern society. What's fantastic is that it works on so many levels: the fantasy is solid, the humor darts from clever word-play to gross-out moments, and the whole book is laced with surprises and delights in every twist of the plot.

It's an extremely solid debut, and I'm looking forward to see what Sover comes out with next!
Profile Image for Nathan Makaryk.
Author 3 books108 followers
July 7, 2019
If it feels like the fantasy genre is too full of lofty kingdom-shattering high epics, let DOUBLE-CROSSING THE BRIDGE be your guilty pleasure. Here’s a delightful book full of disgruntled white-collar corporate trolls who just want to drink together, bang each other, and occasionally eat each other alive (because trolls), who get it in their heads they can rob the biggest bank in town. It’s utterly ridiculous in the best way, and it *knows* it’s ridiculous. Every chapter practically dares you to keep going. “Oh, you’re still here, even after the ninja goats?” the book teases you, “Alright, how about some flying pigs? I’ve got a vomit-inducing pus-popping scene for you!” And you just hold on the whole time, laughing, “Bring it on, book! I’m in.” It’s a quick-paced tongue-in-cheek story, and you can clearly feel the author having fun on every single page, which is refreshing and contagious.
Profile Image for Tyler Hayes.
Author 8 books45 followers
July 11, 2019
Note: The author gave me an ARC of this book at my request.

A witty, weird, often absurdist fantasy heist story with a couple powerful comments on the state of the world at its core. Sover has crafted a fascinating, cartoonish fantasy world quite literally located under our own noses, one where trolls and other fantastical creatures live in a familiar echo of our late-capitalist society while doing their best to avoid their twin enemies: sunlight, and the ever-present, Bugs-Bunny-like danger of billy goats, who will do everything within their power to ruin any win a troll ever manages to earn for themselves. She's also written a fun, complex heist that simultaneously reads like a traditional old-school heist story and could not be told in any world but the one she has invented for us to read.
But in addition to being about a heist, DOUBLE-CROSSING... is about people. It's about sexism and racism in all the forms they take in modern society and all the ways they conspire to reinforce existing power structures. It's about petty grudges and not-so-petty grudges. It's about how ancestral enmity so often lasts beyond any memory of why it's there. And like any good heist story, it's about what you do when the complications to your "perfect" plan arise. Sover's characters and the society they occupy ring true, in all the fantastical ways and all the far too real ones. I thoroughly enjoyed this from cover to cover, and if you like your fantasy weird, snappy, and insightful, you're not going to want to pass this up.
Profile Image for Justine.
191 reviews55 followers
July 2, 2019
Full review at Whispers & Wonder

Later, they wrote stories for their offspring about trolls, goats, flying pigs, and wishes, convinced they had created entire worlds from nothing but their own minds. The human ego was nearly a match for human stupidity.

What’s a troll to do when they’ve lost their job, are being hounded by their landlord for back rent, have far too much time on their hands, and moths are practically flittering out of their pockets? They mastermind a plan to rob The Covered Bridge Corporation blind, of course. TCB Corporation is one of the most lucrative and influential businesses in all of New Metta, sitting atop a mountain of cash, and Granu needs that cash. Alongside her childhood besties, Kradduk and Fillig, she must do whatever it takes to find the clandestine vault and relieve those piggish swog owners of their fortune. If that’s not difficult enough in itself, TCB has eyes and ears everywhere, and it seems like the more they try to keep their scheme under wraps, the more others want a piece of the pie. Can Granu and the gang pull off the heist of a lifetime, or will they be left out in the sun, becoming stone sentinels as a warning to the future ambitious to never cross The Bridge?

Double-Crossing the Bridge is a refreshingly unique and hilarious twist on your run-of-the-mill fantasy heist story. In an expansive underground society, out of sight from those pesky, unintelligent humans, various species co-exist amongst each other, working, and living, and surviving. After a hard night at the job, it’s not uncommon to head on over to the local pub for a flagon of grog, and a tasty plate of crispy fairy wings and infant spines, with a side of hearty toddler stew. Rent needs to be paid, respect needs to be given, and the goats need to be avoided at all costs. In this world, when a troll is riding high on a lucky streak, they need to keep a wary eye out for the billy goats, who surely wish to prevent them from climbing the ladder of success any further. When all fails, you still need to scrape out a living somehow – the rich are too rich, and the poor are too poor. It’s time to finally balance the scales.

While this story is splashed with a humor that keeps you laughing throughout, it also tackles several very serious injustices that currently plague our own world. Corruption and gender/racial/socioeconomic inequality within the corporate workplace, discrimination and bigotry towards things one has no control over (as seen with the Billy Goat Blight), and being unfairly judged based on your outward appearance. The ways in which these issues are addressed are remarkably intelligent, using a bit of lightheartedness, and oftentimes exaggerated behavior, preventing the book from becoming overly political. Yes, these issues exist, and yes they are often overlooked, but Double-Crossing the Bridge is all about the consequences of these unfair transgressions. And these consequences are oh so satisfying.

Sover has given breath and voice to some amazingly fleshed out characters, with their own needs and desires hidden far beneath the surface. Granu, the educator with a mind built for cautious planning, but a deep-seated fear of her violent past repeating itself. Kradduk, the playboy trust fund troll, whose sole goal is to avenge the wrongdoings bestowed upon his beloved mother. Fillig, the overly-serious hopeless romantic, concealing an unexpected bravery and loyalty beneath his leathery skin. Len, the unattractive computer nerd, and Lyssa, the beautiful demolitions expert, both of whom complete the rest of the ragtag crew, outwardly seem invested in the plan, but silently scheme in the shadows towards another end. These characters feel so…human, but “trollified” (yes, this is now a thing). Each chapter allows us to get a further glimpse beyond the facade, proving nothing is at it seems, making this a gripping and enjoyable read.

The plot is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, as we witness the birth of the idea of a heist, through planning, execution, deceit, and the aftermath. The story itself moves along at a comfortable, steady pace, always presenting the reader with essential information and little fluff. The amusing references to real-world aspects, many of which hit very close to home personally, had me laughing out loud – the failings of higher education, turning down free tacos (a travesty, really), and a campaign to “Make the Bridge Great Again”. There are tons of pop culture references littered throughout, just waiting to be discovered.

Double-Crossing the Bridge is definitely a book that embraces the weird and extraordinary, and one I feel deserves to be in the spotlight. It’s playful when it needs to be, sincere and serious when called for, and exceptionally emotional, even though emotions are considered weakness by our lovely trolls. I’ve always been a fan of the bordering-on-ridiculous, and while the official blurb is what initially caught my attention, I was pleasantly surprised with how this exceeded my expectations. If you’re looking for something that isn’t afraid to color outside the lines, give you a good laugh, and FINALLY give you the “monster’s” perspective, then this is what you’ve been waiting for. An excellent debut, and tons of fun.

NOTE: I want to give a huge thanks the The Parliament House for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Reese Hogan.
Author 5 books34 followers
July 27, 2019
I thought this was a very clever concept—a reimagining of trolls living under the bridge, except the bridge is a monopolistic corporation and a team of trolls is planning a heist on it! The main character, Granu, is easy to like. All the elements that make a good heist are here: hidden cameras, stealing IDs, the compromising of a team member, betrayal, and a hell of a distraction. I especially liked the unique risk of being turned to stone if the heist failed. Worth checking out for anyone who likes a cool concept with a quirky twist!
Profile Image for Sara T..
Author 1 book13 followers
August 24, 2019
TLDR; DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE is a hilarious fantasy heist that is Ocean’s Eleven meets How I Met Your Mother meets Deadpool starring Jim Henson style trolls.

(See my website for a cocktail pairing. https://www.saratbond.com/post/pairin... )

I have a hard time starting a review of DOUBLE CROSSING THE BRIDGE, seeing as I’ve read this book more times than I can recall. The author Sarah J. Sover is one of my favorite people in the world, and this is her debut novel. Obviously I will struggle with being objective with this review, but I will do my best.

Simply put, this is one of the weirdest, funniest, smartest, most irreverent books I’ve read in a long time. Sover has pitched it as Ocean’s Eleven meets How I Met Your Mother meets Deadpool starring Jim Henson style trolls.

Seriously. It is a heist story with a group of trolls that would prefer to slum it in their local bar, but are driven to a slapstick life of crime when making an honest living proves less than lucrative. There’s drinking, uncomfortable sex, and a whole lot of gruesome snacks, including fat babies, fairy wings, and unicorn steaks. Rated G, this is not.

Still, while at first it seems the ridiculousness is for its own sake, as you read, you’ll discover some bitingly sharp wit, and a searing indictment of modern capitalist culture. Sover skewers good old boy networks in white collar settings, criticizes a culture that undervalues care-giving and teaching professions, and even takes on the dangers of socioeconomic disparities and a system that leaves too many hard-working, intelligent individuals struggling just to survive.

The humor is low-brow, high-brow, witty, satirical, and everything in between. Sover will dance between a joke about Making the Bridge Great Again and popping boils without batting an eye. There are billy goats that rappel off of buildings to sabotage hard-working trolls, hacker trolls that dream of being super heroes, and babies that are picked out of cages for dinner at fancy restaurants like lobsters plucked from a display tank. And when the absurdism gets too much, suddenly there will be an insightful critique of racism or gender disparity in the workplace, and you’re reminded what a smart book this is.

I could wax rhapsodic about the characters (Granu: smart, desperate, traumatized, Kradduk: soft romantic hidden under a misogynistic playboy, Len: creep with delusions of grandeur that somehow you still feel sorry for), or about the classic callbacks of the heist itself (you will find dozens of classic heist books and movies referenced and invoked in the planning and execution). I could go on about the nuanced world-building that creates a completely alien, but incredibly familiar world. I could talk about the descriptions that evoke skin-crawling disgust and breath-releasing familiarity.

All I will say, though, is you need to get this book. It’s one of those truly unique experiences that reminds you even fun, escapist literature can totally stab you in the back and teach you something along the way.
Profile Image for Tracy Auerbach.
Author 5 books107 followers
September 26, 2019
Sarah Sover creates a fun world of disgustingly unique creatures, providing a fresh perspective that one usually wouldn’t get to see from typical fairy-tale fare. That, plus the very complex, adult tone to the story, and the themes of revenge, complacency, and friendship, made for a surprising and exotic read.
My one gripe was not being able to sympathize with or connect with Granu throughout the book. She just irritated me a bit. I actually enjoyed fun-loving and deceptively deep Kradduk the most!
1 review2 followers
August 13, 2019
There’s something magical, that Sarah J. Sover has tapped into, with her debut novel, Double Crossing the Bridge. She’s taken a story we all know so well, The Three Billygoats Gruff, and put a modern, very adult, spin on it. In the city of New Metta, the corporation TCB, owns and manages the bridge which allows humans access to the world below. The bridge generates untold wealth and prosperity for the elite underlings of society, while lesser beings are left to fend for scraps.
Sarah has managed to take a beloved children’s story, and breath fresh new life into it. She has created a something that is rich with captivating characters, a unique world, and of course, a story that is begging to be told.
Granu, who is no longer deemed fit for her job as a teacher, is left to attempt the one thing no one has ever been able to do before. Steal as much as she and her lifelong friends Fillig and Kradduk can carry from TCB, and escape to a better life. This is of course, if those damn billy goats don’t get in the way.
Sarah’s strength easily relies on her ability to take something and turn it on its head. So often, a world where trolls and billy goats are at odds, is a world set in medieval times. Where you think of wooden bridges and stone arrowheads and maybe even Robin Hood. Instead, we’re greeted with cell phones, and laptops, and television. It’s utterly unique and amazing.
She has also managed to turn everything we as humans know and love on its head. General standards of beauty such as a short thin woman, or a tall bulky man, are completely reversed. The underlings delight in eating unicorn meat, and children as well. Even the act of marriage is tossed on its head, where a male who longs for a mate is ultimately considered a failure of a man, and therefore not worthy of a woman’s time.
Each new chapter bring hilarious new ways for our own world to be turned around and it’s just as amazing in the final pages, as it is in the beginning.
The book, like everything, is not without faults, though they mostly feel minor, and don’t detract from the overall story. Odd choices here and there are made by our group of thieving heroes, and at times the pacing feels just a little off. But in the end, all the strings that weave this hilarious story together are cleaned up nicely and create a wonderfully fun read.
Overall, I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars!
Profile Image for K.J. Harrowick.
Author 4 books20 followers
August 11, 2019
Why I picked up this book:

Sarah is one of the loveliest people I know, and she’s got a wicked dark sense of humor, which is probably why we get along so well. I was lucky enough to read an early iteration of Double-Crossing the Bridge years ago, and again recently when her ARCs came out. This story is so left of center from my usual books, but I absolutely fell in love with Granu and her crew, and of course who can resist those damn meddling billy goats!

This review may contain spoilers.

5 stars for Sarah! Though there’s honestly a scene with one of the goats that is a 15-star, coffee-spitting moment that should be preserved in stone.

What I loved:

Can we just say everything? From the fried fairy wings to flying unicorn poop, this book takes the bizarre and flips it on its head.

But seriously, I adored Granu, an ex-teacher nearly eaten by her students when they hit troll puberty. She’s a character who’s just trying to make it to the next day, and the day after that, and each small struggle in her life pushes her closer and closer to a wreckless decision that takes all the normality in her life and throws it out the window. She’s single, she’s trying to make it on her own, and she’s got a stubborn pride that keeps her strong from the beginning to the end. Well, minus her walk of shame, of course. But what I adore most about Granu is she takes that near-tragedy in her life and puts it to good use later in the book, and the results are hilarious.

What I loved most though (aside from the goats, of course) is that this dark, quirky comedy pulls out all the weird. Just when you think you’ve got this world figured out, a human shows up. Then you finally get your stomach to settle from the outrageous foods the trolls eat, and you learn about cleaning sniggles and need to throw up all over again.

Double-Crossing the Bridge reimagines the tale of the Three Billy Goats Gruff gone bad and subverts it to the view of the trolls in this hilarious heist caper. There wasn’t a single character I didn’t love, and I adore how they each had such a strong role and deep characterization interwoven into the overall narrative.

What the book needs more of:

More goats! Their role wasn’t as large in this story, but damned if I didn’t keep searching for more of them, especially during the ‘squeak’ scene where I nearly fell out of my chair with laughter. I can’t wait for Sarah’s next iteration into this world. More goats please!

Overall:

If you like anything dark and twisted, or just need something different from an average fantasy, definitely pick up Double-Crossing the Bridge. It’s Deadpool meets the original Grimm tales with a whole lot of WTF going on. I can’t wait for Sarah’s next book as she has me as a reader for life.
Profile Image for Nick Vossen.
Author 15 books24 followers
September 12, 2020
A fun urban fantasy ride that lampoons corporate life and modern society. Double Crossing the Bridge is anything but typical. It could always use more goats, but this book rocks.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,744 reviews35 followers
July 31, 2020
It was cute. I like the heist idea but the story takes some time to get around to that. There’s a long opening set in a bar with lots of flirting among the characters. This gave the story time to paint a picture for us – a world filled with fairy tale creatures who have crappy jobs and like their bar drinks served cold. In this world, the trolls are the main workers and usually at the top of the caste system. Unicorns are tasty treats, as are humans. I really wanted to try the fried pixie wings at the bar.

Kradduk is the main character for most of the book though the focus eventually shifts to his friend Granu. The two of them are often joined by Fillig, their long-time friend. The three trade insults and flirty comments with ease. Sometimes that was cute and sometimes I quickly tired of it, especially Kradduk. Ugh! So many sexist pick up lines in one character!

I really enjoyed the world building. There’s plenty of thought put into it and little pieces of if are revealed all along the way, instead having huge lumps of it dumped on us. And I liked the overall plot, though from the title alone I had surmised that someone was going to attempt a double-cross, so there wasn’t much surprise when that happened.

However, I just didn’t connect with the characters. They come off as shallow, none of them particularly sympathetic or funny or greatly clever or noble. Nope, they are all just looking for that quick buck or cheap thrill that lets them escape their little lives. I never got attached to any of them nor did I root for any of them to succeed. Except maybe Heigel, the investigator who suspects Kradduk is up to something. She at least had some drive that was beyond her own comfort and pleasure.

All around, I’m glad I read it for the world building. I love the idea of nearly all the characters being non-human (there’s 1 human character that I recall). In fact, in this world, humans are food animals. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Christopher J. Dusky was a joy to listen to. I was impressed with his range of voice. He had the perfect female voice for Granu and could turn on a dime to Kradduk’s deep voice in the same conversation. Each character had a unique voice and each female character had their own feminine voice. The pacing was good and there were no tech issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Sarah J. Sover. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Ziggy Nixon.
670 reviews4 followers
November 6, 2022
A large troll (the bigger, the better) could have the personality of a wet mop and the brains of a unicorn and still bring home the ladies.

You find yourself waxing philosophical on the meaning of life and the place of trolls in the grand design. About discrimination, nepotism, and sadly, the fact that there is still very much abundant speciesism out there. How the rich stay rich and the poor have to work in the sunlight. Every cop is dirty and every politician bought off. This is New Metta City. This is…CSI: Grimms' Fairy Tales.

How could any creature on earth find the smell of live flowers appealing?

No, that's not right. Um, how to put it? Think of Sarah J. Sover's "Double-Crossing the Bridge" as maybe a very scary and carnivorous version of 'Watership Down' if you will. Except there are no rabbits (most of which have been eaten) but instead primarily trolls. And swogs. Grawbacks, zimbles, and molents, too. And if you look, well maybe not hard enough because of their size but still, you'll catch sight of a sniggle or even a rare carpoid as well! I'm sure I've missed a species of sun-avoider or two, but you'll get the gist of things as you move along.

This will be over soon, and we'll be filthy rich living in the mountains feasting on inbred humans in no time.

Sover has obviously created quite a world for us to take in for this little escapade. Yes, apparently we humans have for years been writing "stories for (our) offspring about trolls, goats, flying pigs, and wishes, convinced (we've) created entire worlds from nothing but (our) own minds. The human ego was nearly a match for human stupidity." Well, to be fair, this was all both a little disturbing as well as slightly insulting… still, as you can imagine, the author provides us with a deliciously amusing and very interesting look at troll life! Again, not through the eyes of humans - as tasty as they might be - but via actual trolls, seeing the world as they would see it, smell it and more.

The only animal less intelligent than a human was a unicorn, good only for their meat, horns, and testes.

And what we see is, well, not that different to our own world, which apparently exists primarily ignorant of this lower plane of existence - where this one city (of about 250) lies somewhere below Las Vegas by my understanding (which tbh makes total sense)? - with some exceptions (including amusingly enough, the FBI). Yes, the souls (?) living here struggle just as we surface dwellers do with a fickle economy, the burden of practically useless college degrees (ye gods did I feel that!), and all the joys and pains of surviving in the big city run and owned essentially by an even bigger Corporation! Heck, even 3rd degree deviousness can't be ruled out among the rampant issues our heroes (+/-) are faced with! Oh the horror…

He pushed open the door and stood, wearing a completely different, yet no more flattering, outfit and reeking of Anal Gland Cologne.

But it's not all fun-time busy eating babies and tossing rodents into spike-filled holes for entertainment. Once established, the story turns more into a semi-standard heist caper, complete with planning and double- or even triple-crossing included. I guess if you're so inclined you could think of it as something like "Ocean's Eleven" for trolls, which to be fair, would have been SO much better! There's the inside man (Executive grade), the other inside man and his new girlfriend, um, Trollfriend (Explosions and Demolition Department), the out-of-work trained teacher with the heart of gold - or maybe lead - and the hacker-type that has dreams of grandeur as a superhero or at very least first-place in his online gaming community. Yes, this latter troll is a sad and ugly nerd, how did you guess? Tracking their scheming and how they then get prepared for said job is again how we occupy the second half of the story, though as you can probably tell by now, it's not only the alleyways in this city that show a dizzying amount of twists and turns.

Ever since her slip in judgment, he'd watched her comings and goings more obsessively than ever, frequently leaving her traditional courting gifts of maimed kittens and pickled human toes.

Again, with the decidedly "no it's not humans narrating any of this" angle, the story doesn't always read as easily as it might otherwise. That's not a strike on the author at all who did her very best to make this as unrealistically realistic as could be (I may have that backwards). Yeah, it struck me as a necessary evil and to be fair, it's not the author's fault that I'm so out-of-touch with my trollier side. Ogres, that would work for me, but that's SO much different, am I right? But somehow the drive for revenge, the feelings of lust and failure, and even the desire to have an occassional tasty meal* seems to be more Universal than not. Plus, the fact that I don't particularly like goats - which I have touched quite intimately in fact during a particularly ridiculous team building exercise (shudders at the thought of winning that one milking contest) - didn't hurt either.

Nobody knew how the feud with the goats began…

All-in-all, this is a well-written fantasy story where the world-building is about as original as you'll find in the genre. It may not be every urban fantasy fans cup of grog with the unique viewpoints but my heart-felt recommendation is to try your best to push through! If you want a distantly-related comparison to latch onto, I would probably push you in the direction of Travis Baldree's "Legends & Lattes". Still, I would note that the tone couldn't be much more different between the two books and would instead recommend you just suck it up and enjoy! Or I'll eat you as that seems to be a fairly normal response about anything and anyone in this world. Speaking of which, I wonder if we have any fried fairy wings left over from lunch?

Kid tacos, turkey tacos, crunchy fairy tacos …but eventually, you get a little tacoed out.

Fun stuff folks! I can definitely recommend sinking your yellowed teeth into this book for sure!

*Just some random items I put down as a menu-list from New Metta's finest establishments:
Eyeball Pops (a type of cereal, I think, as it's served in milk?)
Infant spines and Baby toes (apparently the younger the better is the rule of thumb - which are also no doubt delicious (thumbs I mean) - when it comes to, um, 'baby food'! And yeah, I totally get that toddlers start to get a bit gamey…)
Fried fairy wings (mentioned before but I wanted to repeat them because they sound pretty tasty)
Kid Piss (degree of carbonation unknown but apparently good for a buzz)
Fleshy chips (which may or may not also be a flavor of Pringles)
Entrail or giblet jelly ice cream
Mold spore pops
(candy-related, not like cola, I think)
December 5, 2022
As an individual that started in her gaming phase at the age of two years (thanks to an older brother that put up with her always wanting to watch/play with him as he played on the new Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the house) and growing to one that appreciates the "Bard Class'' of the Role-playing fantasy world(s) as a hobby, I felt quite drawn to check out this book! The person that put me on the right track to entice without being too insistent and sensitive to my own schedule did a stellar job and I'm glad I took this recommendation as a starting point for Sarah J. Sover's work! I'd share that I am a fan of mythical monsters (gryphons being by far my MOST favorite) and a graduate with an Early Childhood Education's degree, it was suggested to check out the world of New Meta behind the eyes of Granu. Like Granu, I understand the hardships of feeling torn between your passion and what keeps food on the table.

Introduced beautifully by Christopher J. Dusky, I felt the draw of the world with his words as if transported into a dark hole where out the other side was a reality not much different than our own. Instead of the shades of skin we humans have however, the underground world (the slums) of New Meta has many creatures big and small from various earthly shades of ghastly green to chalky grey. Some beings have horns, flightless wings, or a tail that has to be considered when choosing outerwear attire. Not long after learning of Granu's predicament of having a Degree in "Early Trollhood'', the reader can see that she has a few friends that are true Ride-or-Die and they are about to undertake the plot of a lifetime to steal the money from a Corporation that is bigger than any can imagine in their society with relatable toxic hierarchy system to boot that pretty much pisses off the majority of its workers in one fashion or another. That is except for the ''fat cats'' or extremely wealthy.

With over 9 hours of listening with Audiable or 286 pages on print, this story is spell-binding to the listener. I was on the edge of my seat and feeling thoughtful ever second of the story. At first with a fear of coming to forget names that were so unique or one letter different from a name I'm already familiar with. My concern here was quickly remedied with the visuals I'd gained of each character as their personalities unfurled through the story’s progression . Kradduk, Fillig, and Granu shows a relationship that many people may have in reality yet feels quite rare as the tests of conflict in life and overworked hardships press upon their shoulders.

I adore Sover's take on visually appealing standards in the grotesque world (complete with foods we find repulsive such as 'kid piss' or 'unicorn steaks') along with the perception of different creatures in the city of New Metta have towards one another that we as human beings struggle with internally on a daily basis. Their nightlife world that shuns the daytime as much as any person would shun the idea of being dropped into a live lava pit is one that will have readers question just how far off from beastly one can be when enraged and the importance of keeping one’s temper lest they eat someone smaller and mouthier than they. This can be a great source introducing to older teenaged readers that would appreciate such a world. Many themes are explored from the characters that can be seen as progressive yet parallel with the way some people of society wish to rise above what they have been given and do better for themselves and their families. Readers can enjoy a layered story with a multitude of different characters as the outlook pivots from one perspective of a character to the other giving just enough background to explain current choices they make without dragging it out. This keeps the interest in the character becoming too stale, either having the end of the story become too predictable.

Comical imagery, sneaky plot twists, intersecting description that will have you feeling fascinated and like certain corners might be visited later on in another story and sometimes feeling dirty or disgusted for laughing at the crude vulgarity we've all come to know, create, and love about the unsavory monsters of fantasy/sci-fi. Give the sample a try and get ready to buckle up for this one. This is one heist you don't want to miss out on, and you don't even have to become a Felon. Just a reader!


** Audible-only note to Narrator: Towards the end of the book within the last few chapters, I noticed a difficulty shifting from one character to another when it was just two characters speaking. This is something that I've noticed in myself in my years of entertaining with different voices and one I work on actively myself. Otherwise the reading was very clear and the story was great! It just got a little hard to understand who was speaking and keep up the image in my mind "smooth'' at some brief points. **
Profile Image for Emma Katherine.
271 reviews11 followers
June 11, 2020
Read my full review here: https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/20...



Opinions: Not to say Double-Crossing the Bridge was a folk-tale retelling... but I adored the billy-goats-gruff incorporation! This book was packed with plots, references, and characters with their own thrilling adventures to go on! I was nearly overwhelmed with the amount of content but was constantly engaged with no excuse to be bored. My emotions were thrown all over the place, switching from anticipation to gut-wrenching fear to blissful serenity as the characters developed and made decisions that collided with reality. What a ride! Sover proved her passion for writing to us through the proper use of Chekhov's Gun and her care for subplots; when we weren't meddling in Granu's business, we were seeking insight on Kradduk and Fillig, history of The Bridge, and even more complexities that tied together to make Double-Crossing the Bridge as rich as it is. All in all, Double-Crossing the Bridge is an astonishing debut that will hook readers in and resonate with them forever - because who can forget ninja goats? I cannot forget ninja goats.

My Favourite Thing: Underneath the constant humour, you will realize that Double-Crossing the Bridge discusses injustices that we face in our world today. If you want to look deeper than ninja goats, there is definitely thought-provoking content for you to ponder. Like I said above, I adored the billy-goats-gruff integration because it brought back lots of childhood memories and gave the story a clever context, yet the goats represent far more than cooky animals in the forest. Racial discrimination, lack of control (yet perseverance towards unreachable goals), and gender inequality were shocking elements to this odd book. These deep themes didn't take away from the humour and light-heartedness of the story, they just made it better!

My Least Favourite Thing: Double-Crossing the Bridge might just be my new favourite book! In my opinion, it is faultless! The bizarre obstacles combined with the absurd humour and all of the bookish-tropes you could imagine equals a huge win in my eyes!



Always remember....





Ninja goats are watching you.
Profile Image for Suanne.
Author 10 books998 followers
December 15, 2019
If you ever wanted a story about the Underworld, filled with trolls and other monsters, Double-Crossing the Bridge is for you. Sarah J. Sover's debut successfully blends an Ocean’s Eleven-type heist with sheer fantasy with high Monty-Python quality wildly-hysterical humor. The book works on so many levels. The humor ranges from gross-out moments a teenage-boy would find funny (such as Anal Gland Cologne) to droll word-play to Wiley-Coyote-esque stunts. The world-building is sublime (despite the grodiness of the characters) down to details such as troll bar food (fried fairy wings, unicorn testes aphrodisiac, and infant spines). The plot is that of the typical heist, but the twists and turns that follow are unique. In the midst of the hilarity, Sover manages to comment with satirical accuracy on such topics as unemployment and discrimination prevalent in modern society, while lacing in pop culture references like “Make the Bridge Great Again.” I can totally envision this as a not-Disney feature-length animation.
Profile Image for Anthony.
Author 29 books105 followers
July 8, 2020
The Review

This was truly one of a kind read in the fantasy genre. Blending humor with fantasy-driven narratives, the author does a great job of bringing a sense of normalcy to the world of trolls and other fantasy creatures.

The author does a fantastic job of mirroring the life of protagonist Granu with that of humanity and their everyday lives, from the nature of the food chain to dating life and the desperation one feels after losing a job. Yet the action takes center stage once desperation forces Granu to take a role in a prominent theft, only to face a surprising obstacle.

The Verdict

A rich, layered world of fantasy and action, author Sarah J. Sover’s “Double-Crossing the Bridge” is a must-read fantasy and humor novel. Filled with powerful characters and a unique plot, this is a truly marvelous read that you will not be able to put down. Be sure to grab your copy today!
Profile Image for Ellen.
155 reviews3 followers
October 13, 2019
Thoughts: this was so much fun!!!! A different perspective on the Three Billy Goats Gruff and what would happen in that kind of troll and underworld society. We follow the paths of three best friends, Granu being the brains of the group, as they try to steal from TBC. Touching on themes that are INSANELY relevant in today's day and age about corporate greed, continued subtle "specieism", and how even with a university degree it's a bitch to find a job. The story started fairly slow and I couldn't get into it right away, but as I pushed through, I fell in love with the characters and their journey. Plus a couple twists to blow my mind and make me laugh is always a plus! I'm excited to see what else this debut author will bring us with her imagination!!!
Profile Image for Angela.
291 reviews
June 9, 2020
I received this as an audiobook to read for free in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to The Parliament House for giving me access.

This one was different! For me, I think I would have enjoyed it better as an in hand book or ebook. The audiobook just made me want more and I couldn't connect with the story. I am still not sure what happened.

That being said, Sover did create a fascinating world where animals/creatures lived like humans. Ate humans. Had human pets - I think, don't quote me.....Like I said, I am not sure what happened. There was a comment about how they have a restaurant that is the equivalent to a seafood restaurant (the one where you pick your lobster) and I thought that was hilarious.

I will definitely have to give this a reread in the future.
576 reviews4 followers
Read
March 20, 2021
Quirky weird fun!

Just a ful little story with solid world-building, character development, plot, timing, all are solid. Sexual innuendo and promiscuity could limit youth reader recommendations, though when I was a teenager I would have had no problem with any passages. I had a lot of fun with this one and will be following the author.
Profile Image for Liz Griffin.
Author 2 books27 followers
October 6, 2019
I received a complementary copy of the ARC through NetGalley.
Comedic, easy read that satirizes the plight of many post-college graduates to face the music of adult life, but with Shrek vibes. The heavy crass content and sexist/specisist analogies weren’t my cup of tea, but others may enjoy.
Profile Image for R.J. Garcia.
Author 8 books327 followers
November 13, 2019
A unique and satirical read about a troll out of work with mouths to feed who plans a heist. While the plot is simple and easy to follow, it is easy to pick up undertones of real-life injustices. This is perfect for fans of the classic book, Animal Farm by Goerge Orwell.
Profile Image for Ellie Raine.
Author 15 books53 followers
November 3, 2020
One Hilarious ride!

Wow, this was so much fun! The world-building is so cool and different, and the story is riddled with characters I legit worried about so much that I dreamed about them. That ending was SO unexpected but SO satisfying! It was a really fun ride!
February 1, 2021
Interesting

Different! From dark bar rooms, a troll guarded bridge, to the mines, this novel lays out a trolls life. When the group of friends decide to pull off a major heist, they better be careful who they allow into their inner circle.
Profile Image for Katie.
80 reviews7 followers
December 7, 2021
Wasn’t a fan of the casual sexism or any of the characters. Also it felt like it took way too long to actually get to the heist, and when they finally did it felt kind of underwhelming.
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 7 books32 followers
March 20, 2022
This is such a fun read. Sarah Sover did an amazing job detailing the world of the trolls. The heist is well thought out and full of twists and turns. Definitely recommend this book!!!!
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