The first thing you will notice when reading The Girl with All the Gifts is that there is something seriously wrong here. As you start out with the perspective of Melanie, a brilliant little girl, you have to sort out the clues for yourself to figure out where she is and what’s going on. The second thing you will notice when reading The Girl with All the Gifts is how completely enthralled you are. Where other books that include a child’s perspective have made me sigh and roll my eyes, Carey had me curious about the world and invested in little Melanie’s safety.
It’s hard to talk about the story without giving anything away. And I don’t want to give anything away since making discoveries as the tale unravels in all of its tantalizing horror and glory is what makes this book so fantastic. However, I will say that Girl features the most terrifying zombies I’ve ever encountered. And as I fancy myself a dilettante of zombies, I’ve seen quite a few. The Walking Dead‘s got nothing on these monsters.
Though the story takes a few grim and discouraging turns- as zombie stories are wont to do- the characters covet a dim spark of hope which carries you through to the end. It also provides enough action and violence to keep my inner teenage boy entertained.
Girl constantly forces the reader to examine morality and ask hard questions. When do you give up on love? When has science gone too far? What (or who) would you sacrifice to save the world? What makes us human? And while these quandaries are nothing new, Carey brings them out in a ways that is stark and visceral. Even the brighter moments carry an undertone of danger and ominous foreboding.
The characters are beautifully flawed and provide surprising revelations about their histories, which make them feel incredibly genuine and complex. At the beginning, with only one perspective, the characters are easily categorized with black or white hats and are very polarized. But, as the story unfolds and we get to see other perspectives, the lines between right and wrong get foggy and I found myself unable to side completely with any character; trying to decide what I would do in the situation. Despite some of the mistakes that are made, it’s often hard to find where to lay the blame. Especially when all of the characters are only doing their best to survive whilst grappling to maintain their humanity. A struggle further complicated as their journey forces them to reevaluate what humanity really is.
My only qualm is [Show][Hide]
when the doctor is attacked and she slices up her hands using a shard of glass to stab a zombie in the face. And yet, by some miracle, she doesn’t end up infected. WTF? But it certainly didn’t ruin it for me.
If you like your books to give you an adrenaline rush, make you feel all the feels, and make you contemplate existence, then The Girl with All the Gifts is the perfect book for you.
To find out where you can purchase The Girl with All the Gifts, visit the publisher’s website.