The Girl with all the Gifts

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

Nothing new under the sun. This book was not what I expected it to be. Most of all I didn't expected to read a pretty generic zombie book. And so monotonous. I concur with other reviews that pointed out the unnecessary length of the book. I was easily bored. Or maybe I'm just not into zombie books, this is my first foray in the literary genre.

The first couple of chapters (from Melanie's pov) were great and interesting. I definitely liked Melanie's point of view. But since this is a book with multiple point of views, it shifted to other characters for which in the end I cared less. Also it wasn't long before the story gave off a vague sense of déjà vu, and fell into the "another zombie book" category. If this was a short story focused on Melanie for example, I would have given this 4 or 5 stars. Unfortunately the story took a pretty predictable turn and frankly 400+ pages is too long for this kind of story. Read the first 10 chapters and the last 5 or so, and you have your story.

Melanie is endearing and the reader feels for her to some extent but I can't help but compare this book with Angelfall and particularly Melanie with Paige Young (Penryn's little sister). I think what the author tried to do in The Girl with All the Gifts actually gives better results in the Angelfall series even though Paige Young is just a side character and not at all the entire focus of the story. I felt for Melanie but not quite as much as for Paige and her family. Because I need more context; who they really are, their relationships, and their back story in order to belief the characters are real, and to eventually root for them. Unfortunately, I didn't have that with Melanie and co. I couldn't feel Melanie bonding with the others, if she had any fears, was she questioning her situation etc. All I felt was her obsession with Miss Justineau. And although there are some signs of the characters' 'humanity', those are few and far between. I didn't connect with any of the characters. Here it felt like I just met the characters and I already had to separate from them.

The ending was okay, I understand where the author is coming from, but I can see plot holes from miles away. What could have made this book more interesting is to have an epilogue or something with a flash forward that shows us how this new 'species' evolves. Because honestly I'm a bit sceptic about their survival instincts, certainly after they ate all their 'food supply' and they can't technically 'die'.

In the end I enjoyed it on and off and I'm glad I read it, though if this was a series I wouldn't read its sequel. So an okay read that will appeal to readers who aren't tired of post-apocalyptic zombie books.