Published by Little, Brown Book Group Limited on 19-06-2014
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Fiction, Sci Fi
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.
Melanie is a little girl who lives in a cell. Every morning, men with guns and grim faces lock her into her wheelchair, push her down the corridor and into the classroom, where she and around twenty other wheelchair bound kids are taught lessons by a variety of teachers. Melanie likes her classes, she loves her teacher Miss Justineau and she adores Greek mythology. She doesn’t particularly love being strapped into her chair during classes (makes it hard to make friends), or the fact that most of the adults seem scared of her, even when she’s trying to be nice.
The jacket of the book gives very little away, so if you’d rather go into this blind as was intended, it’s probably best to stop reading here! If you don’t mind the slight spoiler/already seen it elsewhere or if you’ve already read The Girl with All The Gifts, you’re safe to read on!
The Girl with All The Gifts is not a book about a little girl with special abilites – I have to admit I was imagining an X-men style mutant or something similar. It turns out, The Girl with All The Gifts is a book about zombies.
I’m seriously squeamish so zombie movies and TV are not my thing at all, but my few forays into zombie fiction have gone pretty well so far. I adored Feed by Mira Grant, and I enjoyed Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (though the second book not so much).
Melanie is an absolutely great character, and I think without her this book just wouldn’t have worked for me. She’s unbelievably smart, but she’s also like a puppy: she’s so eager to please, and she has questions without answers that no kid her age should have to worry about.
The supporting characters mainly consist of Miss Justinea, Sergeant Parks and Doctor Caldwell which is perhaps where the story fell down a little for me. With a relatively small cast, I expected to really connect with the characters, but although there were a few moments where I connected with the others, I didn’t really find myself drawn to any of them in the same way as I did with Melanie. Strangely, the supporting character I found most real was Doctor Caldwell, who is less likable than both Miss Justineau and Sergeant Parks!
With hints of the same scientific basis as Mira Grant’s Feed and moments so tense I didn’t want to leave the safety of my locked bedroom, I’m not quite sure why I didn’t click more with The Girl with All the Gifts. It took me a while to get into, and there were few moments where I was truly hooked – I definitely enjoyed it, but The Girl with All The Gifts was probably a 3.5 star read for me.
Buy it? This is one I’d borrow or pick up on a deal.
In a nutshell: Enjoyable, and I’ll definitely be looking out for more by M.R. Carey, but it didn’t wow me.