Saturday, June 27, 2015
Book Review: The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Author: M.R. Carey
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: Swearing, violence
When we meet Melanie, we know she's a little girl who is living all alone in a cell. Every weekday she's strapped into a wheelchair and wheeled to a classroom in the basement of the bunker where she lives with a bunch of other kids. On weekends she's left alone for the entire time. Every so often one of the kids disappears permanently, and Melanie soon learns that she and the other kids are special-- they have been infected by the spores that turned most of the population into zombies, but for some reason they are still sentient-- sentient, and deadly.
Oh my gosh, I am not a fan of the zombie thriller. Ed has watched every single episode of The Walking Dead, and when the first season came to a close, I told him he would be going to Fort Benning without me. If I had known that the main characters of The Girl With All the Gifts would essentially be Michonne and one of her walker pets, I never would have downloaded the book. But I did, so I read it, and by the time I realized what Melanie was, I was too invested in her perspective to put it down. The first part of the story, where we learn what Melanie is and how lonely her life is, and the final few chapters, where we learn about her potential, completely redeemed what was otherwise just Rick, Michonne, that creepy scientist from the NIH, and some other disposable guy fighting off the other humans and the walkers. Carey does a lovely job showing the complications of various perspectives-- in their minds, all of these people had good reasons for their actions, which often came into conflict. The Girl With All the Gifts was not my cup of tea at all, but if it's yours, this one was done very well.