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Bridge 108

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  36 reviews
From the Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning author, a dystopian novel of oppression set in the climate-ravaged Europe of A Calculated Life, a finalist for the Kitschies award and Philip K. Dick Award.

Late in the twenty-first century, drought and wildfires prompt an exodus from southern Europe. When twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother during their trek north, he
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by 47North
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

A poignant and timely story about forced migration, unlawful immigration, and the hurdles we face trying to adapt to systems that are inherently antagonistic to us. It is a book that is both disheartening and hopeful at the same time, with interesting and sympathetic characters.

The shifting perspectives in this story make it very interesting. Had the entire thing been in Caleb’s point of view it would have gotten tedious, but
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although sent in the future, within a new world order, where climate change, wildfires and water shortages have triggered mass migration this is a very current novel regarding the subject matter.
The U.K. is functioning well and is the place people’s from Southern Europe head for in this dystopian future.
Told in a series of events in the life of Caleb and narrated from the perspective of multiple voices he comes into contact with on his journey.
Initially travelling with his Mother he is later
Bruin Mccon
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Bridge 108 is a dystopian fiction book about England after “the fire” when there are a flood of migrants coming up from Europe and the English are divided between people who received inoculation to addictions and other socially undesirable qualities, and those older or poorer members of society who have not.

This book is a lot to take in. First, enhanced people who are all rich...quite on the nose for today’s rich upper class who outsource a lot of the grunt work that the rest of us have to do,
Jul 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
I'm ready to read any dystopian novel that takes climate change into account.
Ren HappilyBuriedInBooks
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I wasn’t ready for it to end!
Bridge 108 hooked me from the start and I scarcely put it down. Typically, this would warrant five full stars from me, especially as it doesn’t conform to the dime-a-dozen dystopian/coming-of-age/first-love script.
But I wanted more; I needed more. I can reconcile an open ending. I get some satisfaction from a neat closure, but I can reconcile an open ending. The bones were there, but the meat was lean. The implants, simulants, inoculations were not well fleshed out
Man, did I have a hard time with this book. I started out really enjoying it, and I think that was the problem. If I just hated it from the get-go, when it started to go in strange directions that I didn't enjoy I would have just written off the whole experience and quit reading. Instead, I got really frustrated that I wasn't able to follow the story I became invested in.

Ultimately, for me, reading this book was like trying to view a really beautiful painting at a museum but having your view
Zoe L.
Bridge 108 is a sharp and witty new dystopian story. Imagine The Giver mixed with The Outsiders and you have this new story. As I was reading this I was instantly reminded of the classic ya stories. The story is easy to read without being dull. The undertones of what it means to live in a post apocalyptic world add a layer to the decisions made by the characters.

This is a book that finally made me rejoice from seeing multiple perspectives. Primarily this story is an account of Caleb and how he
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Twelve-year-old Caleb is separated from his mother on the way to England as they flee the drought and wildfires of southern Europe. Outside Manchester, Caleb is picked up by traffickers, but lands an easy job making bespoke clothing items for a woman who seems kind. But after she hits him, Caleb takes another opportunity to escape. He hides in the woods, finds another work situation, then escapes again. He remains optimistic, learning new trades, deciding to put his trust in only a few adults. ...more
This novel takes place in a near-future (and very believable) dystopian England. Immigrants are pouring in from fire-and drought-ravaged Southern Europe. Legally and illegally, with many being trafficked. Charnock has an earlier book that also takes place in this world.

Charnock's world building is what I enjoyed most about the novel, and made me want to know more. England has changed from the world we know. On the legal side are simulants, implants, innoculations, indentured servitude, and right
Morgane Krauth
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and 47North for providing me with an ARC for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Though I did enjoy this book quite a bit, some things really bothered me.

First of all, this book is told from multiple perspectives but we do have a main character that we see more than the others : that did not work for me. Though I understand the choice as it allowed the reader to get more info about the world the book is set in that our mc doesn't know, a lot of it seemed
Movies, Shows,
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: This review contains NO spoilers

This is a very interesting read. From the setting to the complexity of the characters, Bridge 108 tackles very real current global social, political, and economic issues. Well, that's how it read. If you're keen on current events, then you'll get this story. Created in this hypothetical world, Anne Charnock created a coming-of-age story of a young boy navigating and surviving in the world and society he lives in. Anne Charnock wrote a thought-provoking and
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
In the late twenty-first century, drought and wildfires ravage southern Europe causing residents to flee. When twelve-year-old Caleb and his mother make the journey north, he becomes separated from her and falls victim to human traffickers. He becomes enslaved in an enclave outside Manchester but, he uses the opportunity to improve his situation. Even when his situation looks dire, Caleb never loses hope.

Caleb meets another victim of trafficking and together they look for better opportunities.
Jessica Gilmore
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At some point in the future, maybe a decade, maybe a century, an indentured illegal refugee Caleb is sewing shirts up on the rooftop of an apartment building in an Enclave - part slum, part suburb ringing aa wealthier city, housing people who are not quite desirable, people who have chosen to not, or not been allowed, to be microchipped with a chip which makes them better citizens, suppressing the urges which make them wasteful and unpredictable members of society. Caleb has come from Spain, a ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have become a Anne Charnock super-fan, ploughing through her oeuvre in short order. I love her super subtle world building and although her books are fairly slim [compared to what I normally "consume"] her pacing is so incredibly perfect: she takes her time and that creates deep empathy. Of course it is impossible to read "Bridge 108" outside of the global migration crises, triggered for the most part by the climate crises. The economic system - the one that we still fetishize despite all ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

So, I am a massive dystopian novel lover and always have been. I love the many different approaches that folks take, and they often are extremely timely for what is happening in the world.

This story takes place in England after what seems like a major climate crisis throughout Europe. It follows the main character, Caleb, and his journey from refugee to human trafficking to escapee, etc. and the many folks he meets
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From netgalley - quick review for the moment:

* was intrigued by the climate change angle so picked it up
* not YA - you don't get the close relationship with the narrator typical of YA, and the narrator is 12 for most of the book
* super depressing...moral of the story seems to be that (view spoiler)
* depressing books are okay but I wasn't connected with the character. Sure, I felt fear for him at acutely scary
Marti M
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
Thanks to Wunderkind PR for sending me a free copy of this book to review! All opinions are my own.

This book is set in a dystopian future, taking place in Europe after wildfires ravaged half of the continent and follows a teenage boy named Caleb as he bounces from place to place trying to survive. He is separated from both of his parents, fearing them both dead, and is picked up by traffickers to have him work as a slave for a woman named Ma Lexie. Eventually he escapes and turns himself into
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This was a pleasant surprise, as I've never heard of this author before and I picked it up on a whim from a NetGalley offer.

I would describe this as speculative fiction. It feels like it could take place anywhere from ten to fifty years in the future, as climate change accelerates northward European migration and countries such as France have to adjust and react. There are a few tech advances described although the story would probably stand up without them.

Each chapter is from the
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great YA book about child trafficking and immigration. Told through various viewpoints, including those of the child immigrant who is trafficked for manual labor, those who profit from his work, those who seek to stop trafficking, and others, the novel is set in a dystopian England where the poor are shuttered into enclaves, where cheap labor is used for all sorts of industry and business. After escaping from one abusive and exploitative situation, the primary protagonist seeks out ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book.*

Even though the setting sounds interesting (climate refugees from Southern Europe), vineyards all over England/Wales, human trafficking & exploitation, but the execution was just weird. It lacked world building most of all and then a coherent story with meaningful characters. The story just didn't make sense for me and I was a bit mad after many characters were introduced and then a shift of time and
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bridge 108 is a novella that is told from several different points, but Caleb’s is the constant. The worldbuilding is minimal as I believe it is the author’s intent to focus the story on the characters and their journey or ability to live in this post-industrial world. But even at that I felt some things were missing. For example, Caleb’s plight was not given the immediacy that I thought was needed to show his motivation to run. Sure, a character can make snap decision, but his character has to ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Science fiction novels tend to be a platform for exploring current sociopolitical and environmental issues and envisioning a prescient glimpse of possible futures. Anne Charnock’s novella Bridge 108 predicts a twenty-first century where climate change has had devastating effects. Wildfires and water shortages in southern Europe have caused mass migration from the Mediterranean rim. The engrossing dystopian story follows twelve-year-old Caleb journey as well as the perspective of the other ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting read for me. It falls in the YA Dystopian category and involves child trafficking for work in a world that is not too far off to imagine. I liked that the reason the world has changed in this book was due to climate change. Very timely and poignant.
This was a quick read, told from various points of view, and with a moving ending - albeit not super uplifting.
I would have loved if the investigator Jerome had more book time, as well as Ma Lexie to learn about her
Amy Wels
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting dystopian novel that is set in Europe and focuses on immigrants fleeing to the UK after much of the continent becomes unlivable. The story focuses on the experiences of Caleb, a twelve-year-old, separated from his mother while fleeing Spain. He is trafficked for labor by a number of seedy characters, but survives by knowing when to flee and learning how to take care of himself. The book is a stark account of the consequences of unfettered climate change and a great read.
***I received
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enclave Safety

Caleb is a waif of a boy who has been abducted and put to work for a family of miscreants who literally hold him captive. By working hard and being creative with scraps of clothing, he is given a job that puts him out into the local immigrant community spell my his goods. Illegals are frowned upon but nevertheless he soon devises a plan to escape with a neighboring girl sealing his fate as a runaway. Thus the question of when is he safe. When on the run or when under the protection
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The changing of the POV in this one made it a very interesting story. I could not out it down. Although this one is set in the future I could see how we now are headed to this kind of story. It is very scary how things can change in a short amount of time over just a few years. This books story will open your eyes to things that need to change in our own world. With moving characters and one story I won't soon forget Bridge 108 is a story for our time. I do wish that parts of the story would ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling Premise. Lacking Execution. This was one of those books that seems destined for critical and maybe book club success at the expense of a wider commercial following. It was effectively a more interesting and less utterly depressing character drama in a sort-of-ish style of The Road.

The book only has 10 chapters, 4-5 of which are from the perspective of our main storyline character Caleb, the rest are from various adults on the periphery of the story but which sometimes provide key
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Net Galley for the free ARC. Interesting take on dystopia here. Caleb comes from somewhere south of Spain and is a refugee in England. He was separated from his family and is surviving by sewing shirts. He eventually surrenders to authorities and becomes part of an indenture system. The genius here is that it could be right after Brexxit or a hundred years from now, nothing is so different, but just enough.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book received for free through NetGalley

I could see the issues presented in this book easily happening in the future. This book presented one person, and the people associated with him, and showed one human and how he was affected.

I get bad for all people involved in this story and wanted to know what happened being he story’s end but completely understand that it was the best part to end the book at. So glad I came across it.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world is a complex place, and a complex tale with complex themes told from multiple perspectives can be hard to follow. Dystopian novels add another layer of complexity as the world they are in is not our own and filling in the blanks is that much harder.
The story is solid,but finding it and keeping it together takes effort.
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Anne Charnock's novel DREAMS BEFORE THE START OF TIME is the winner of the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award, and was shortlisted for the BSFA 2017 Best Novel Award. Her latest novel, BRIDGE 108, is written in the same world as her debut novel, A CALCULATED LIFE — a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and The Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards.

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