The Girl With All The Gifts
Genre: Adult, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic
Publication date: January 14th 2014
NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING
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 is a very special girl.
Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
-A copy was provided by Orbit for review-
*slow clap* I don’t even know where to begin reviewing this book. It was a book that I didn’t plan to read, I heard from my co-blogger it was a split POV story told in the third person and I thought “Rubbish! I don’t want that in my life.” Then a little birdie came along, one by the name of Christina of A Reader of Fictions and she said “Look, you need this book in your life. Total Jenni bait.” So I gave it a go and wow. I’m at a loss for words (which, if you know me, NEVER happens) because this book was just… everything.
We are introduced to the world through the eyes of a little girl named Melanie who spends her time in a cell and is only brought out to shower in weird chemicals and to go to her lessons. When she is removed from her cell she is strapped to a chair in a process that she knows like clockwork. This process involves one guard doing the strapping while another holds his pistol point blank on her head. What was so striking to me right off the bat was how beautiful I found Melanie’s character. It’s easy to tell early on that she is infected with the pathogen that caused the “Breakdown” that ended the world as humans know it and I still empathized with her so strongly. Her character is full of wonderment and she’s incredibly intelligent. I found myself rooting for her and hating anyone who was mean to her. This of course leads to a very interesting story in which we find out how these kids on this base are able to still have human-like brainwaves and emotions just as strong as yours or mine.
This ability makes for a zombie read unlike any you have ever read. Not only does it feature fantastic characters but it also is so well thought out. The cause of the Breakdown and what’s happening inside these “hungries” is utterly fascinating. I loved the thought that went into it and the author’s ability to make me feel as if I understood the scientific jargon that he threw at me. Sometimes I find with novels like this that the explanations go over my head and I have to fight through the words to find out what is really going on but that was so not the case here. I can’t stress enough that the research and effort that went into making this novel readable for anyone was amazing. The world that M.R. Carey creates is frighteningly real and the novel sucks you into this scary world and just doesn’t let you go.
What’s always the best about post apocalyptic novels like this is the way they make you feel for the characters and suck you into the bonds that are created. Not only did I come to love Melanie, as mentioned above, but I also came to love and hate everyone around her. She has an intense bond with one of her teachers, Miss. Justineau, and it was fascinating to see the layers of emotion that went back and forth between these two from both of their perspectives. I was so invested in these two being together that it’s no surprise I was quick to get my hate on for anyone trying to keep them apart. These characters came in the form of Dr. Caldwell and Sergeant Parks. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of these two I was able to come to understand them which just served to get me even more invested in the story. The character development here is really out of this world just like the world building.
Filled with raw emotion and taking place in one of the most frightening settings I have read, The Girl with All The Gifts is not one to be missed. Everything is conveyed so well and with a book like this that means the gore as well. The tense scenes are written expertly and they had me holding my breath just as the gore has me cringing and gripping my Kindle. I highly recommend this book and will be shoving it in the face of even random passersby in the future.