Title: The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Orbit Books
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Melanie is a little girl who lives in a cell. In order to leave her cell for classes each day, Sergeant keeps his gun on her while she’s tied to a chair and escorted out. The best part of Melanie’s day is when she has classes with Miss Justineau, a warm and caring woman who teaches Melanie and the children like her about Greek mythology and other subjects. But who is Melanie and why is she treated so abominably? And what does the world outside the walls of the compound hold?
A smart and fresh post-apocalyptic novel, The Girl with All the Gifts features a fascinating character in Melanie and slowly unfolding tension that keeps the suspense high from beginning to end.
The Girl with All the Gifts is an intriguing novel set in a post-apocalyptic society that is crumbling quickly. Readers don’t know much about it when the novel begins, or even what is happening inside the compound. All they know is that something isn’t right about the way that these children are treated, that there’s more going on than it seems. Carey does an excellent job with the slow burn tension, revealing important information at key moments. It makes for a suspenseful and gripping read.
Melanie is at the center of The Girl with All the Gifts and she is fascinating. She’s incredibly smart and precocious, yet absolutely believable despite her tender age. Carey wrote her well, making the reader connected to Melanie before they truly understand what is happening and the nature of what she is. Yet even after they discover that, there is something irresistible about Melanie, something simultaneously admirable and terrifying about her. She really makes the book worth reading.
Carey does a great job making the story of The Girl with All the Gifts unique. It will be compared to other books, of course, but it does stand on its own, fresh and new. The ending is both fascinating and incredibly well done; it’s surprising, but not a shocking “twist.” Simply put, it shows where Melanie is intellectually, how she understands and sees a much bigger picture than the humans around her. She gets things on a different level and it’s really interesting to see how she thinks.
It’s a different sort of summer read, but don’t put The Girl with All the Gifts off just because you aren’t in the mood for another zombie novel. This book is so different and fresh, with such good suspense written in, that you’ll be hooked in no time. Carey wrote a fascinating and gripping read in this novel with a character that is so strange and wondrous, readers won’t help but connect with her and root for her to succeed, even though it might cost Melanie everything.