Author: M.R. Carey
First Published: June 19th 2014
Series: Stand alone
Genre: Fiction, Sci-Fi, Horror
Available As: Hardcover, paperback
My Copy: Physical copy
My Overall Rating: 8.5/10
I love books with the zombie apocalypse and I've read many books and watched many movies about it. But The Girl with All the Gifts has a new take on the post-apocalyptic world, all the way up to the little details. The reason why I really like this book is because it focuses more on the relationships between characters, especially Melanie and Miss Justineau. It's a study in human nature, but in a more subtle way.
Melanie and Miss Justineau have a inter-dependent relationship, because both are fiercely protective of the other. Melanie sees her teacher as more than just a teacher - almost a goddess nearly. It's a little unsettling at times, because it does seem like Melanie is quite obsessed with her teacher, but it is the purest relationship we get between all the characters: innocent and dependent. I'm not saying it's an entirely healthy relationship, but it's in an post-apocalyptic world where Miss Justineau is the only kindness Melanie knows of. Of course she will cling on to her teacher like that.
The pacing of the plot is mostly slow, but never too slow as to lose our attention. There is something interesting in every chapter, whether it be some scientific description of the fungus, or diving deep into the minds of each character. The action is separated, with enough time for us to absorb what just happened without forgetting, before something new is sprung at us. Although the book is quite thick, the plot and content is not overwhelming, thankfully.
My favourite character is a tie between Melanie and Parks, but more by elimination. Miss Justineau just seemed too perfect for the post-apocalyptic world (although Carey does try to convince us otherwise), Dr Caldwell a cold-hearted, goal driven scientist with questionable morals, and Gallagher was just there, except for *spoiler alert* his death scene, which really teared me up a little. Same with Parks' death. *spoiler over* Overall, I think Parks wins by a small margin, because of the character development: he started off hating Melanie and the other children, but slowly accepts her, willing to trust and work with her. Wheres for Melanie, there was barely any character development (mainly because she was way too young to have any)
I quite like the ending and what Melanie did. Although it is still "for the greater good", it's a little different from the "greater good" we're used to. Do I forgive Melanie for what she did? I'm not quite sure. But I do see where she's coming from.
Overall, a wonderfully written book! I hope to read more novels by Carey in the future.
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