To Hold the Bridge

23213811by Garth Nix
YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
3 of 5 stars

Reviewing a book of short stories is hard, even if they are all by the same person. In a collection this size, there were some that I absolutely loved–so much that I wished they were full-length novels–and there were others I struggled to get into, despite knowing they would only be 20-30 pages long. Overall, I’m a fan of his work, and I would recommend these as a way to explore a bunch of worlds and premises in a short amount of time. These are well-written and the majority do an excellent job of pulling you into some level of suspense within the first few pages.

I was most excited about the Old Kingdom novella, To Hold the Bridge. The Old Kingdom Trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen) is one of my favorites, and I was excited to get back into that world. It wasn’t quite what I’d hoped–much of the novella is set-up, and the only action occurs at the very end. There’s a lot of exposition, but I was hoping for more from the characters. As always, it just left me wanting more of the Old Kingdom! Another story is a prequel to his novel Shade’s Children, so fans of that book would probably enjoy this peek at that world. It made me want to read it!

The rest of them were a nice surprise and I enjoyed the obvious creative freedom he had with this collection. It felt like anything he ever felt like writing about but couldn’t put into a book deal was included in this volume, and it’s a fun read!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, To Hold the Bridge is available on Goodreads and its parent company Amazon. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix – My favorite Nix novel and the first book in the Old Kingdom trilogy. Sabriel must fight the Dead as she tries to save her father and their kingdom. See my review here.
  • Shade’s Children by Garth Nix – The enigmatic computer-generated Shade rescues children from the Overlord’s dormitories before they are killed and harvested to make war machines. All he wants in return is for them to provide information from increasingly dangerous missions. I haven’t read it yet but this sci-fi novel is one of his more well-known works.
  • Rags and Bones edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt – This collection of short stories crosses all genres with a paranormal thread running through all of them. See my review here.

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