Published by Orbit on June 10, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Thrillers, Supernatural, Action & Adventure
Source: Purchased Book
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In the ruins of civilization, a young girl's kindness and capacity for love will either save humanity -- or wipe it out in this USA Today bestselling thriller Joss Whedon calls "heartfelt, remorseless, and painfully human."
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 keeps his gun pointed 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.
The Girl with All The gifts. I really don’t know why it took me so long to get around to this one because it was simply amazing. I don’t know what I was expecting but this really wasn’t it. I think it made me feel everything so intensely because it was centred around the protagonist, a young child called Melanie. I raced ahead; everything was just so engaging that by the time I reached the end I felt wrought with emotional exhaustion. The zombie apocalypse seen through the eyes of a child.
It really was a fresh and interesting take on the zombie novel. I’m a wee bit of a traditionalist at heart and wasn’t all that sure if I would get along with the idea that Zombies could have an intelligible monologue internally and externally. Could they control that feeding frenzy and could they develop feelings beyond the idea that people were just bags of flesh and blood to feast upon? Carey injects some humanity into his zombies and quickly it becomes clear that Melanie and her “teacher” gets embroiled in muddy waters. When things became clearer, I felt that people were freaking insane, why would you risk your own skin like that!
The Girl with All the Gifts was a story that I am loving more more (I think there might be something wrong with my obsession about pandemics and the apocalypse). The world is in the proverbial shit. The world as we knew it is gone. It has now been replaced with Hungries and rogue soldiers that aim to take out everyone. It has been twenty years since the breakdown (basically patient zero) and the world isn’t closer to discovering a cure or vaccine. Things are different though and children are taught in a facility surrounded by fences and protection, but something quite sinister is going on behind the scenes.
The characterisation in The Girl with All the Gifts is strong and purposeful. They may be living during an apocalypse, but they feel and hurt and love. Their dreams and inspirations have been set on fire, and know all they are focussing on is survival, plain and simple. Now one aspect of the characterisation I found intriguing was the reaction of some characters of the children. I had to really sit back and examine the context of the scene to get to grips with just how they could explain away the treatment of them. I (in the sense that our culture and upbringing dictates that they are just some things we shouldn’t do to children) wanted to just give Melanie and the other kids a great big hug (I know, what are those again)?
I was totally engrossed in the spiralling storyline and was more than happy with the ending. It was a story that I had come to passionately enjoy.
The Girl with All the Gifts was a stunningly bleak story that can’t be compared or paralleled A compulsive take on those “what if” ideas and the setting is beautifully bleak and heart wrenching.
ABOUT M.R. Carey
Mike Carey is the acclaimed writer of Lucifer and Hellblazer (now filmed as Constantine). He has recently completed a comics adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and is the current writer on Marvel’s X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. He has also written the screenplay for a movie, Frost Flowers, which is soon to be produced by Hadaly Films and Bluestar Pictures.
Also writes as Mike Carey