Kimberling Bridge

Fiction - Dystopia
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/23/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Jeffrey W. Tenney’s Kimberling Bridge is a story of survival in a world gone mad. William is alone, dwelling under a bridge in Arkansas. Every day his situation worsens, he struggles, questioning his existence. At seventy-two, he is exhausted, too old to deal with simply surviving. What’s the use? Humanity has turned inhumane. “The ticking clock had started...humans had proved themselves a disgrace to the entire planet.” Then a young teenage girl shows up. Kat changes William’s perspective. Life and survival are no longer just about him. Kat asks William to take her to her aunt in Reeds Spring, Missouri. William and Kat set out on an incredible adventure through the Ozark Woods. The trek is dangerous, there is no way to avoid the violence ahead of them, but at least life has a purpose again.

Jeffrey W. Tenney nails it! Kimberling Bridge is a riveting dystopian adventure! Using his degree in anthropology as a catalyst, Tenney creates a story of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The narrative exposes the soul-suffering of society when anarchy attempts to rule. The characterization is exceptional. The aging hero looks for purpose within a world with no meaning. His purpose arrives in the character of a young girl. She is far from innocent, yet vulnerable, a victim of the world’s inhumanity. The protagonist does what every hero should - he takes responsibility for her, and the lives of others. The bond between William and Kat is the life-blood of the novel.

Brutal gang violence, death, starvation, and injustice collide with “kill or be killed” self-preservation. Survival is a shared ambition on both sides of the conflict. The question at the heart of the narrative is “what would you do to survive?” Alliances are vital, but who can you trust? As the plot action rises and peaks, a showdown between justice and injustice occurs. Yet, what was sacrificed for the sake of justice? Jeffrey W. Tenney paints a portrait of chaotic beauty in Kimberling Bridge. He blends the heinously absurd with the spirit of camaraderie, depicting the truth - there is no greater love than to lay your life down for a friend.

Rabia Tanveer

Set in a time when the world is about to end, Kimberling Bridge by Jeffrey W. Tenney is the story of William, among some of the precious few people who are barely surviving. With no transportation, no food and no shelter safe enough, the end of humanity is very near. William is just waiting out his time at his hideout in Arkansas. However, to his surprise, a 14-year-old girl comes to him for help. She needs him to help her get to her aunt a long way from where he is living. The chances of finding the girl’s aunt are not good and their chances of making it there safely are slimmer than that, but with nothing to lose, William decides to help this young girl.

Kimberling Bridge by Jeffrey W. Tenney is a dystopian novel that makes you reflect and think about your future. Set in a time when life as we know it is at its end, the story explores some pretty heavy themes with an urgency that had my heart racing. The pace was fast, the development was realistic, and the storyline was gritty enough to keep me looking forward to finding out more. It was raw enough to make me hold my breath and to hope for a better end for the protagonists. It was a riveting tale that kept me guessing, wanting more and needing more all the time. The emotions were intense at times, which was to be expected, but what I didn’t expect was to be so immersed in the story and the characters. This is a true high-quality gem, one that deserves a lot of attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a motion picture soon. What more can I say? This book is awesome!

K.C. Finn

Kimberling Bridge is a work of post-apocalyptic fiction written for adults by author Jeffrey W. Tenney. In a near future world where an electromagnetic pulse attack has wiped out all technology, transport, and communication, the new Wild West has overtaken the American Midwest. Biker gangs roam the plains for supplies, ripping them from the hands of those they kill, whilst others starve to death as all food sources are scavenged away. In the midst of all the madness, the barely-surviving William is approached by a young girl who wants to try to find her aunt in Missouri. With nothing left to lose, the unlikely duo sets off on a fifty-mile slog into the unknown.

This exciting dystopian tale reads like a modern-day western, with a single hero outnumbered and outmoded by the dangerous gangs he encounters at every turn, but slowly bonding to his charge and her desire to find her family far across the land. Author Jeffrey W. Tenney transforms Arkansas and its neighboring states with a powerful atmospheric use of description, peppering his world with new rules, new dialogue and new horrors that could realistically come about from that kind of survival situation. I particularly enjoyed the quiet moments of the journey when we learned more about William’s own past and family, which helped me to understand his motivations and rounded him out as a character. Overall, Kimberling Bridge has all the elements of a high-quality gritty adventure with realistic, heartfelt characters and a solid plot to enjoy.