The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R.Carey 5/5
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 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.
I did not know this was an apocalyptic Zombie story! The front cover doesn’t give anything away, however, seeing as I love a good zombie novel, I was ecstatic. Even more so to start reading and think, ‘this is the best zombie-esque novel I have read since Stephen King’s Cell in 2006. Yep, ten years, multiple zombie novels read, and only now have I found another gem.
This is the first book in a long time that I have been reluctant to put down. The pace is perfect- finding out just enough at just the right time. I read half the book in one sitting just to find out that little bit more every so often.
Carey’s skill at expressing the thoughts of a ten year old girl, Melanie, is spot on, and captured her fixation with a particular teacher who shows kindness where the others saw the children as monsters. There are multiple POVs and each character offers something to the narrative, and all are well developed throughout the novel.
The science behind the infection is all too real. Ophiocordyceps are a parasitic fungus with some species that can infect insects and alter their behaviour- basically control them. What would happen if a new species, or should I say undiscovered species, of Ophiocordyceps infected a human? I saw a David Attenborough clip on Ophiocordyceps and it only made the narrative in this novel more believable. I prefer a horror woven with a little science. It makes the whole experience that little more scary.
Okay, I’m raving on and on, but I loved this book. If you’re not a fan of apocalyptic novels or the zombie element, then this isn’t for you. But if like me, you’re a zombie freak and love a bit of end of the world reading, then get this book!
The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties.
All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman
K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review.