- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; Reprint edition (April 28, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316334758
- ISBN-13: 978-0316334754
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,678 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Girl With All the Gifts Paperback – April 28, 2015
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"Original, thrilling and powerful."―The Guardian
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"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 has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts was a USA Today bestseller and is a major motion picture based on his BAFTA-nominated screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey 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 bestseller list. He also has several previous novels, two radio plays, and a number of TV and movie screenplays to his credit.
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Carey has taken a real biological organism (the parasitic fungus cordyceps which highjacks the nervous system of its host, typical ants) and imagined what would happen if this fungus jumped the species barrier and was able to infect humans. The result is a pandemic of apocalyptic proportions as most of humankind is infected, those who remain attempting to not become infected themselves while seeking a vaccine.
It is difficult to write about the plot without spoiling the story, so I will err on the side of being vague. The story is a bit confusing initially, as it is told from the perspective of Melanie (the girl with all the gifts.) Finding out what those gifts are, and how they are important to the plot is a large part of the story itself, and a large part of the fun of reading it. Besides the brilliance of the concept of the story, I particularly enjoyed the constant changes in perspectives between characters giving readers an opportunity to see and understand their motivations and world-views. Carey also does a tremendous job of creating and building tension as the plot moves forward, although (as with many of his other books), there is an element of the bitter-sweet in its resolution.
For those unfamiliar with this author, I recommend _The House of War and Witness_ first (only out of personal preference) before reading _the Girl With All the Gifts_; that said, this is a fantastic piece of dystopic science fiction.
To say too much about the plot would be to deprive unsuspecting readers some spectacular plot twists. But, in the interest of not being entirely unhelpful, here goes. Six year old Melanie is a genius. She reads the classics, performs Calculus, and quotes Greek literature. Her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau, adores Melanie above the other students in a very unique class. For each day, Sergeant and other hardened soldiers roll Melanie and her classmates into class strapped helplessly into wheel chairs. No one ever touches the children, or gets too close to their teeth, or releases their bonds in the presence of adults. Why? Melanie doesn’t know at first, but gradually learns of the undead “hungries” that have killed the world outside of the school. That world seems so far away … until it crashes in on the school and destroys it. What follows is a frenetic journey of self-discovery and survival as Melanie, Miss Justineau, and Sergeant attempt to survive a brutal outside world. For the truth about Melanie and the danger she poses to those she loves most becomes the girl’s most difficult lesson yet.
This novel has everything – everything – I look for in a story. Compelling characters you cannot simply classify as good or bad who soldier on with hope despite a hopeless situation. Twists and turns galore – some you see coming and some you don’t. And best of all, an ending that you don’t see coming, but when it does, you know it is perfect.
Five enthusiastic stars for this novel … and I would give it six if I could. Just read it, okay. You can thank me later.