I read this book as a buddy read with Katie and Shaina, which was actually a really good thing, because I don’t think I would have stuck with it if I hadn’t been accountable to two other people. Which would have been my loss, because once I got past the initial world-building and slow beginning, it really picked up.
I went into this book not really knowing anything about the plot, but having heard great things about it, particularly from Cait, who reviewed it on her blog. And because the cover blurb doesn’t say anything about the plot, I’m having a hard time deciding how much to say.
I think it’s safe to tell you that this is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic sci-fi story. With a hint or two of the paranormal. It’s set in an England where some serious shit has gone down, and our main characters are running from a group of marauders who overran their camp (even though it was guarded by military personnel) and trying to make it through all the dangers of the outside world to a safe haven they’re not even sure still exists. In this sense it reminded me very strongly of one of my favourite TV shows, The Walking Dead.
While the story is a bit slow at first, and you have to exert some effort to feel your way into it, it’s worth it. By the time I hit the halfway mark, I couldn’t put the book down. I had grown attached to some of the characters, thoroughly disliked and mistrusted others, and wanted to know more about this world and how it got this way.
Was this book perfect? No. The beginning, as I mentioned, was slow going for me. Some of the sciency stuff was either boring or just, like, WHAT?? But the thing that really got me (and don’t worry, I’m not going to give any details), was the end of the book. It wasn’t what I expected, it’s not how this sort of story normally goes down, and it just worked. It was really the only way it could end that wouldn’t have felt forced or fake. I forgave all moments of boredom and bewilderment for the ending.
I don’t think this book will be for everyone, but if you’re only about 30 or 40 pages in and you’re not sure if you want to keep reading, give it until 100 before giving up. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, or just dig post-apocalyptic or dystopian fiction, you definitely want to give this book a try – only make sure that you have some time set aside for reading once you get about halfway, because you’re going to have trouble remembering to eat and go to bed at a reasonable hour!
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. – Goodreads
Book Title: The Girl With All the Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Published By: Orbit
Released: June 9, 2014 (first pub. January 1, 2014)
Genre: Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Dystopia, Sci-Fi
Date Read: July 4-19, 2015