I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Series: The Girl With All the Gifts #1
Published by Orbit on June 19, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller
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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 Parks 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 favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.
While the viewpoint of The Girl with all the Gifts is mainly told from Melanie’s point of view, there are four other main characters. Miss Justineau is perhaps the most relatable character. She is a teacher and empathises with Melanie. Miss Justineau slowly becomes horrified at the treatment of the children, especially Melanie. It could be argued that she is the more humane of the group.
Yet it is the soldiers who hold my attention with their military discipline. Sgt Parks is the more senior, and this shows through his actions and reactions. Pte Gallagher is the youngest of the adults, dreaming of home. Both these men are abound in honour and bravery and it is them that constantly push the group forward.
Caroline Cadwell is also an interesting character. I could not be certain if she is the villain. Depicted as a mad scientist who is only fuelled on by her need to complete her research and her personal ambition of saving mankind. She is definitely an antagonist, there are moments where she moves the plot forward with her eccentric behaviour and obsession with Melanie.
Melanie is perhaps a more complex character. On the exterior she appears to be weak and fragile but lurking under this is something that is waiting to be unleashed. Which side of her will win.
The setting of the book is mysterious. We only know what is going on within the vicinity of the main characters. We have no idea what chaos the rest of the world is in. The main theme of this story is the existence of the main characters and how they will survive. This is a compact exploration of human life and what you would do to survive. Would you be like Miss Justineau who just tries to help? Or would you be like Caroline Cadwell and be ruthless in your determination to figure out the secrets in saving humanity?
Each of the five characters go on a journey and become changed upon realising how their story is going to end. The Girl with all the Gifts is a gripping read, filled with twists and turns along the way.