Title: The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Publication: June 19th 2014, Orbit (first published January 14th 2014)
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Science Fiction
ISBN: 0356500152 / 9780356500157
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.
“It’s not just Pandora who had that inescapable flaw. It seems like everyone has been built in a way that sometimes makes them do wrong and stupid things.”
I have to admit that I didn’t read its synopsis before indulging into the book, and so it was a shock to me to find out that it’s a story about zombie apocalypse. But it felt actually nice to try reading different genre than the one I’m used to.
“The truth is the truth, the only prize worth having. If you deny it, you’re only showing that you’re unworthy of it.”
It’s a story of a girl, Melanie, an almost zombie but not quite. She loves school and her classmate, but mostly, she loves Miss Justineau, her professor and the only person who made her feel as if she were a normal human. It’s a rollercoaster of “wait, this book has no chill” to “c’mon girl you gotta fight and run” to “brb, I’m crying.” It totally messed up my feelings and it took me months to finally get through and move on.
“Melanie finds this interesting in spite of herself — that you can use words to hide things, or not to touch them, or to pretend that they’re something different than they are.”
The characters, story flow and writing style were in coherence with each other. It turned out to be unusually good and compelling for a horror/ thriller genre. It left me out of breath on some of the peaks and lows of the story. I really like that the book has a heart that beats for both living and dead, and in the in-between.
“Melanie thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You’ve already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.”
It was a long read, but it was worth it. A total package, and I definitely recommend this book! 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
M.R. Carey is a pen name, and sometimes used as Mike Carey, was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom. He 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. To know more about him, head on to his site.