The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date:June 19th, 2014
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Science Fiction, Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
Since I’m exactly the type of person who avoids horror at all costs, I told myself there was no chance I was ever going to give this book more than a glance.
But my curiosity got the best of me, like it always seems to do.
And to my surprise, I devoured the hell out of this book. That has a lot to do with the fact that it’s a very interesting story, almost not at all horrific. Some parts are a little disgusting, but never more than that.
To be honest, although it’s quite intriguing, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s a never-before-seen type of story, since the idea of facilities has been done a hundred times before and it’s not as if the zombies here have magical abilities.
But so help me, I couldn’t put it down. I loved the idea of a ten-year-old zombie-girl being the main character in this adult book. She is adorable. She is intelligent. She is so, so, so, believe it or not, humane.
It’s a survival story, without a question, but not the usual fully action-packed type. It’s no THE HUNGER GAMES, for instance. The author takes his time introducing the world-building to us in a way that is easily understandable, and this is done throughout the book, which slows the pacing. The interactions between characters often have a similar effect, though they are essential to the story.
There are many intense scenes, as I prefer to call them (instead of action scenes), and the story itself is a long but thrilling ride. There aren’t many characters, but the characters that we do read about are ones we eventually become attached to tremendously, especially the lovely Melanie.
I haven’t seen the movie, but I must say I’m feeling excited just at the thought of there being one. I’ll do my best to clear some time for it on my schedule.
Don’t be like me. Don’t wait two years to read this. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.
Follow me on:
Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Goodreads | Bloglovin’
I didn’t even know about this book until saw the movie trailer, and then I ordered it right away. Great read. Wasn’t a fan of the end, but its unexpectedness was pretty awesome.
Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
Follow me on Bloglovin’
Awesome review! I’m so glad that someone who’s like me (aka doesn’t read horror) liked this! Now i know I’ve got to give it a go!
Like you, I am no fan of horror, but I really enjoyed the writing style and the characters in this book, especially Melanie and Miss Justineau (she’s now one of my all-time favorites).
Hmmm…I might just have to give this one a glance now. Thanks for the review! I don’t much like horror either so usually the first mention of “zombies” sends me packing.
Ha, I am absolutely not a horror fan, but I scoured quite a few reviews for this one and it seemed like I’d be able to handle it. Like you said, there were some gross scenes, but nothing overly “horrifying”, in the true genre sense of the word.
Brilliant book, yes? So glad you decided to give it a try.
It’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but I remember loving it. I read it on a plane ride and hated for the plane ride to end because I NEEDED to finish it! Great review. So glad you loved this one too.
I have been seeing this one around, and because of the cover I was like – this can’t actually be about zombies. But turns out it is. I am glad you could enjoy it, and find the main character humane as well. And the zombies having magical powers is interesting. Basically, you have me curious now.