Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M R Carey
Source: Purchased from Kindle Store
Buy it: Here
(from Goodreads) 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.
I had heard a lot about The Girl With All The Gifts before I picked it up, but had managed to steer clear of spoilers. Many people told me it was un-put-down-able. Others raved at its brilliance. In fact, I hadn't heard a bad word about it! And so, with piqued interest, I entered the world of Melanie.
What I found was a well written zombie tale that didn't really bring anything groundbreaking to the tradition of zombie novels that came before it. That's not a bad thing - it was a solid zombie book! - but given the hype, I was expecting something that bit different. What we have is a military compound, an ambush, a group of survivors fighting to stay alive against the danger of "hungries" and the desperation to understand the disease that started the "Breakout".
There were some great elements to The Girl With All The Gifts, no doubt. I loved the originality of what the disease actually was. I loved the metaphor of greek myths running through the story. I loved - no, LOVED - the catastrophic and almost poetic ending. Melanie was a charismatic and complex character and Miss Justineau was the perfect mother figure. That said, I do have to disagree quite strongly with the "un-put-down-able" remark. Half way through this book, the story drags like you wouldn't believe. I was skipping pages, I have to admit. I'm not saying what happened over these pages wasn't necessary. It could probably have just been shorter!
The Girl With All The Gifts was a great zombie novel; it mixed humanity with horror, and gave a strong sci-fi outbreak theory. However, the pacing suffered at the midpoint taking some of the excitement out of the narrative. Bonus points for the brilliant ending, though!