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The Girl With All the Gifts Hardcover – June 10, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,643 customer reviews

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Hardcover, June 10, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Original, thrilling and powerful."―The Guardian

"Unique and terrifying."―Booklist

"An instant favorite."―Boing Boing

"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go."―John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

"Heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human...as fresh as it is terrifying. A jewel."―Joss Whedon

"If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing."―Martina Cole

"One of the more imaginative and ingenious additions to the dystopian canon."―Kirkus

"...a brilliant work of science fiction, but even people who never read science fiction should absolutely read this one."―io9.com

About the Author

M.R. Carey is a pen name for an established British writer of prose fiction and comic books. He has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel's flagship superhero titles. His creator-owned books regularly appear in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels and one Hollywood movie screenplay to his credit.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316278157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316278157
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,643 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
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 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 favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

So. Mr Carey. I have been waiting for another book in another series, some folks will know what I mean, but I thought hey, this one will do to be going on with. Especially when good blogger friend Kate waxed lyrical about it and told me I must read it. Frankly it wasnt a hard sell..

This is an INCREDIBLY difficult book to review without spoilers – I had no idea why Melanie was so special going in, and I’m not going to tell you either, but special she is. And not just because this is a clever, fascinating, addictive story about – ha see you nearly had me – its about THINGS OCCURRING - but because she is ridiculously easy to love, so well written is she. In fact all of the characters pop right off the page for one reason or another.You will either want to protect them with your life or shoot them in the head. Often with no inbetween.

Its a horror story. But not really. Its a fantasy. But then, no not really. There is certainly love there. And loss. And some stand out scene setting. And a heck of a lot of jaw dropping moments. And don’t start reading it just before bed time. You won’t sleep.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Girl with All the Gifts might be my favorite book of 2014 (so far). It’s certainly in my top 5. Before I discuss the book, I have to discuss the synopsis. I feel like I’ve been complaining about synopses a lot recently, usually because they don’t reflect the tone of the book. This is probably the most egregious example. The synopsis is written as though a very young child with a very limited vocabulary is speaking. You would rightfully assume that the book would be written in this same manner, but you would be wrong. WHY do marketers do this? Are they intentionally trying to turn off readers? I heard about this book from somewhere other than Goodreads, and I’m sure I would never had chosen to read it if he synopsis was all I had to go on. The main character is a 10 year old girl named Melanie, and I could understand the desire to write the synopsis in a young voice IF the MC had that same voice in a first person narrative. But that is not the case here. Melanie is a very intelligent girl, and the narrative is written with an intelligent tone in the third person and doesn’t reflect her voice at all.

Sorry to go on and on about this, but I don’t want the odd choice for the synopsis to discourage anyone from reading the book. Because ALL of you should want to read The Girl with All the Gifts, and I’m going to do my best to tell you why. I’m going to keep it vague, because you need to discover the secrets of the book for yourself.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic society in the U.K. Melanie and other children attend school classes, which seems normal enough on the surface, but it soon become apparent that something is not quite right, both with the children and with this school.
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4 Comments 215 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Do yourself a favour and don’t read the back cover of The Girl With All The Gifts. It won’t ruin the story for you but to my mind, when an author goes to the trouble to set up a clever opening to a well ploughed genre and then marketing decides to undercut that by telling you exactly what the book is like, because hey the point is shifting books… well…

If you like post apocalyptic thrillers with a decent scientific conceit underpinning it and an engaging read, go out and buy this book. Go, do it now.

But if you if you don’t really care or if you are one of those folk who like to know what the story is about before you go and make your investment, read on. But I am going to spoil it. Well, spoil it as much as the back cover does anyway.

All Melanie has ever known, all that she can remember is her room, the classroom, the showers and the corridor. Each day men in uniform come and collect her and take her to the classroom. She has a few different teachers, but her favourite is Miss Justineau. Miss Justineau teaches them about poetry, and Greek myth. The other teachers tell them about the time before the Breakdown, before the Hungries and the wild Junkers.

The back cover of my edition of The Girl With All The Gifts quotes Jenny Colgan of the Sunday Times as labelling it “Kazuo Ishiguro meets The Walking Dead”. I haven’t read any Ishiguro but the link to The Walking Dead sits uncomfortably with me (but I understand it’s shorthand for “this book has Zombies, shambling fans of the Walking Dead will love it”) or certainly not the most apt genre comparison one could make. I’d say it shares a family resemblance to certain works by Richard Matheson.

So yes it has Zombies.
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