Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ali reviews: The girl with all the gifts by M. R. Carey

The girl with all the gifts follows Melaine, a little girl with a genius-level IQ who lives in an underground military bunker. Melaine, along with other children, is kept in a cell overnight and then strapped into a wheelchair by soliders and taken to a classroom every day. Melaine likes school, but she adores one of her teachers, Miss Justineau. Most of the time, Melaine is a normal little girl - but when she smells human flesh, she turns into a Hungry, which is essentially a zombie. Things quickly start to unravel when the base is attacked, and a small group of survivors have to try to work together to stay alive.

There are a lot of things I didn't like about this book. For a start, the author has a fairly annoying writing style that mainly revolves around telling us what the character is doing or feeling. Gruesome or tense scenes - and it is a zombie book, so there are plenty - are reduced to clinical descriptions that don't really hold any emotions at all. The characters are incredibly human - while that is a plus for the individuality of the book, it meant I didn't feel too involved in their survival. That though was probably also due to the lack of feelings the book produces.

What makes this book unique, however, is that despite all of the negative points - and there are a lot - I found its premise so interesting that I would still recommend you read it.

It starts off with a very unusual situation for a zombie book and continues to move in very different directions to the rest of the genre. Unlike some novels I've read, this different approach to zombies continues through out the story, finally finishing in a shocking conclusion that suits the uniqueness of the story perfectly. 

Is everyone going to love the girl with all the gifts? Doubtful. Those who are fans on the horror/zombie genre will probably be disappointed by the lack of tension, will those who aren't fans may not enjoy some of the themes. But whether your new to the zombie genre or whether your a veteran, the girl with all the gifts may just surprise you yet as an interesting and unique addition.

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