Title: The Girl with all the Gifts
Author: M. R. Carey
The world of ten-years-old Melanie is limited on her cell and a classroom. Every day Sergeant Parks points a gun to her head and his other two men strap her to a wheelchair and take her to a classroom with other pupils like her. Melanie is bright and she loves school and she even has her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau.
Melanie is a part of a special group of children. And some people hope that because of them a solution to a mysterious disease would be found. There is something about those kids, that virus responded differently and Dr. Caldwell wants to discover what this could be and what makes them different.
Melanie is an intelligent and curious ten-years-old girl. Sometimes her actions and thinking didn’t show that – she sounded like an adult to me, but nonetheless I liked her. And in fact, that made her even more interesting and plays a decisive role in the story – she’s aware of her situation which helps her infiltrating between “normal” people.
The characters who are fleeing from danger together, couldn’t be more different. Scientist Dr. Caldwell, who has only one goal – find a cure and become famous because of that, teacher Justineau, naive and acting like she’s not aware of a situation, sergeant Parks, typical soldier who has seen/experienced all and from this derives its brutal power. And soldier Gallagher, who’s too gentle for a soldier and needs an authority that he can follow. And of course, Melanie, which they are all afraid of and nobody trusts her. And this diversity of characters makes a story even more enjoyable. It’s clear that everyone wants to enforce their will and their conflicts of interest lead to unpleasant situations. However, they have to accept each other because, after all, they are forced into this. Otherwise, they wouldn’t survive.
I wouldn’t say that this book was creepy, but it’s strained enough, that I couldn’t stop reading it. It’s also interesting, that even if the reader finds out what has happened and what the virus is causing almost in a first few pages, that doesn’t affect the story at all. I was still interested what will happen and it didn’t ruin the plot for me.
Despite the fact, that at first, Melanie is the main protagonist, later protagonists change and we can read the story through their eyes. And even though Melanie was my favorite, this was almost the only option to learn more about everything – Melanie just doesn’t know what’s going on, because she lived only in her cell, so this was rather a logical move. We learn about a story through different characters, and again, because of their diversity, a reader can experience different views about a situation and existing world.
Interestingly, the idea of a plot is not new but nevertheless, I felt that Carey did a great job and this is not just another zombie book. And even though I didn’t read many zombie books, I was impressed by this one. It truly was an enjoyable read.
The end was also good. However, I wouldn’t mind if there would be a sequel to this book. In spite of everything, I would love to know more about junkers, the Lighthouse, and remaining world. But as it often happens, the sequel could ruin this book and I really wouldn’t like that.
Rating: 5/5 stars
What did you think about this book? And, do you have any other zombie book recommendations?