Author: M.R. Carey
Genre: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic
Goodreads | The Reading Room
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 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 favourite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.Review by Nara
Well that wasn't anything like I expected.
First, because I honestly expected some sort of paranormal. I mean, come on! "Girl with the Gifts"! Totally sounds like a paranormal. Well, no. It was a post-apocalyptic. With zombies. Horrifyingly well-described fungus zombies. *shudders*
Second, was this actually "Melanie's story"? Well, yes. And no. I think on the whole, this tale is more so one focused on a group of people attempting to survive in a less than perfect world, and in the group happens to be a girl named Melanie. You could probably even argue that Melanie isn't the protagonist.
One thing that I unfortunately didn't really enjoy about this book was the pacing. Despite it being a "zombie" book, and despite the imminent danger of being devoured by said zombies, there wasn't really a sense of urgency to the story. In fact, at times, there was almost a languid pace- with the action and adventure side of things being rather overshadowed by character development and dialogue. Which I suppose isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it did have me feeling slightly bored at times.
I would rather not say anything about the actual plot, because this is a book that is best read "blind". Hence the intriguingly minimal blurb. Overall, bar the pacing, The Girl with All the Gifts was a well crafted tale with interesting characters and a sucker punch of an ending. Definitely recommended to fans of horror and fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi.
World Building: 4/5