The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey

Original book title: The Girl with All the Gifts
Author: M.R Carey
Publisher: Orbit , 460 pages
Language: English
Original language: English
Year of publication:  2016

I discovered this book a bit late, so I already knew what The Girl with all the gifts was really about. The great revelation came after only a few chapters, but by then I already had seen the movie trailer. It didn’t matter to me and I was still eager to read the book.
This book is about ten-year-old Melanie, who is a very special girl who lives in a cell in a military bunker. She is tucked in a chair with straps around both arms, legs, and head every morning. It is done while a soldier holds a gun directed at her head.

For each chapter, more details about Melanie are revealed. What she does in the cell and about the world outside the military bunkers. Mr. R Carey slowly describes the world he has built up in each chapter. Suddenly the readers find themselves in a strange but interesting world and trying to figure out what has happened.
There are few characters in this book, which gives you the chance to get to know them very well. We get to know Melanie, who is the main character, but we also get to know her favorite teacher Miss Justineau, Dr. Caldwell and Sergeant.
Melanie is smart and very interesting as a character. The more I got to know her, the more I wanted to know about her. From the chapters that are narrated from Melanie’s perspective, we find out that she is afraid of Dr. Caldwell and Sergeant and idolizes Miss Justineau. In the chapters written from Miss Justineau’s perspective, we understand that she is struggling because she is getting too attached to Melanie. Their relationship fills the whole story and creates both problems, but also questions about who is good and who is evil.

The Girl with all the Gifts is not a typical zombie book, it is more philosophical and raises a lot of questions about who really is the monster. Who’s good and who’s evil. The book has some action scenes, but otherwise it’s a slow read that makes the reader raise interesting questions.
If you are a real fan of zombie novels, you can surely appreciate this book even though it doesn’t contain much blood, horror, and action.
I wish it wasn’t so slow, a few more action scenes had probably worked better for me.


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