There are days when I really, really hate authors.
Here is a quick, spoiler-free recap of the serial:
The main character, Charlane Thompson, has left her military career for the private security sector. She is in charge of a security team guarding a research facility in Alaska. Early on you pick up a few key plot points: Char’s ex-husband, Seth, is working at the same base as the site’s medical doctor, Char is very close friends with her second-in-command, and Char finds an unconscious stranger injured in the snow.
This stranger turns out to be an alien, a Bridger, someone who travels through portals between worlds with the help of sacred stones implanted in his chest.
Char heads up a team and they venture through the portal, hoping to find resources that will help her “side” win the war that has been ravaging Earth, and hoping to avoid meeting any more aliens. Of course, things don’t go as planned and in 25 episodes you visit several alien planets, meet quite the array of characters, and get the thrill of exploration and danger.
The serial ends on an explosive high that leaves you with too many questions and not enough answers.
Ms. Wichers has a way of building stories slowly, quick enough that you’re hooked and that you care about the characters, but I cannot complain about a single data dump in the entire serial. As I mentioned in my first review, it took me 2 or 3 episodes to get from mildly interested to hooked, but I’m glad I stuck with it. While all the episodes were approximately the same length, they felt shorter each time as more and more was happening at quicker paces.
All of the characters are unique and memorable. There’s tough, stubborn Char, sweet, charming Seth, Char’s second-in-command, Leander, is the type of woman who rolls her eyes at everything and mouths “what the f*ck” at you from across the room if she thinks you’re being dumb. Venn, the alien, is soft-spoken and gracious, but also very brave, his wife is passionate but at the same time soft. Erwell, the woman in charge of the base, is cynical, ambitious, and petty. Each has their own voice and you never get them mixed up.
So why, with all this praise, did I open this review with “I hate writers”? Because it was just that good. I checked my email daily waiting for the next episode. It was like a fix for me. I needed to know what happened next. And Ms. Wichers has left me with that need. Bridger the Serial ends at episode 25. I don’t know if there will be a second “season” or if I have to start buying books. Either way, I need to know what happens and I will be eagerly awaiting news from the author.
I think we need more slow-build authors, and we need more readers willing to stick with an interesting but “slow” story for a few chapters. Because once this book got going, it moved and it didn’t stop moving, even at the very end. I wish I could say more but I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.
I give the story 5/5 stars. It was driven, detailed, emotional, and never boring. I give it a 3/5 for presentation because of some formatting issues with the included images, and some minor typos (some author-note place holders were left in the finished text by accident, nothing that would detract from the story).
If you’re not into digital reading, you can purchase the paperback of Bridger (the first 25 episodes) here.