The Girl with All The Gifts is a genre defying commentary on society, survival and humanity. The less you know the better in this cautionary tale from M.R. Carey.
From The Book Flap:
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.
The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.
Overall: The Girl With All The Gifts is a book best read without too much preamble. There are twists and reveals throughout and while the tools aren’t gimmicks, the story works best when the reader doesn’t know what’s around the corner. The writing is engaging, sharp and humorous, while the story dark and innovative.
The story starts with Melanie, a little girl who describes a daily existence of walking in her “room” (a cell) each day, being strapped down to a wheelchair, and then being transported to a classroom full of other little children also strapped into wheelchairs. It is clear that these children are not normal, and as the story unfolds we find out just how not-normal they are. What is unclear is where Melanie is and why she’s there.
Carey parcels out information on place, time, condition, etc., inch by inch. As the story progresses and we learn more about Melanie, her classmates and the facility where they’re being held, more of the picture is revealed. It is not until the very end that we finally get an aerial view of the landscape, and it’s quite view indeed.
Judge a Book by its Cover: The cover show the silhouette of a little girl who appears to have her back to us and her arms out stretch. It’s not clear with the pose is meant as an embrace or if is intended to be menacing. Since we cannot see her face, we don’t really know what her intensions are.
Audiobook Narration: I read The Girl With All The Gifts as a audiobook. Finty Williams, The reader for this book was perfect. Her accent was the right amount of Queen’s English to give the story a grandness.
Kick-Ass Factor: Not to give anything away, but there is definitely plenty of action.
The Chosen One: You can guess from the title who The Chosen One might be, but the question is chosen for what?
Don’t Believe the Hype: I was lucky enough to walk into this book cold. The buzz around this 2014 release are overwhelmingly positive for a reason. If you’ve managed to avoid spoilers up ‘til now, you won’t get them from me. Just read the book.
Open tab/Last call: Carey works in mythology, social systems, identity and several elements I won’t name (spoilers) in The Girl With All The Gifts. I was riveted from beginning to end. Mr. Carey, next drink is on me.
The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, Published by Orbit, June 10, 2014; 416 pages.
For a teaser of The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Cary, check out the spoiler free book trailer here.