The unmissable and highly anticipated new literary thriller from the author of the international phenomenon The Girl with All the Gifts.
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life.
It's a place where even the walls whisper.
And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.
Will she listen?
©2016 M. R. Carey (P)2016 Hachette Audio
"Heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human...as fresh as it is terrifying. A jewel." (Joss Whedon on Girl with All the Gifts)
"Unique and terrifying." (Booklist on The Girl with All the Gifts)
"An instant favorite." (Boing Boing on The Girl with All the Gifts)
Avid listener on my daily commute!
Yes, it's true that this book will likely disappoint any reader looking for a repeat of the glorious originality of this author's masterpiece, The Girl With All The Gifts. And it's true that I didn't feel fully invested in the story or the characters until past the halfway point, at about chapter 60. But trust me, the journey is worth the investment of time and a credit. I think part of the disappointment originally felt by me or any other fan of this author's previous work is due simply to the fact that this is a SMALLER story than TGWATG, painted on a smaller canvas. I would liken the difference to that between the most gorgeous and visually stunning mural ever painted....and a very small canvas on which the artist has painted a beautiful but very different kind of painting. The scope and the topics are COMPLETELY different, but that in no way should detract from the reader's enjoyment. You will not be disappointed as long as you periodically ask yourself, "How would I feel about this book if it had been written by a first-time author, instead of the author of TGWATG?"
90% of this book is great. The story of Jess and why she ends up in prison and everything she goes through along the way is great. The surrounding characters are good, maybe a little shallow, but still colorful and interesting. The story line is really great. I was on the edge of my seat until almost the very end, really fascinated by where the story was going to go--I couldn't even guess as to how it would end or what would be revealed.
Then there was 10% of the book that was so trite, predictable, and simplistic that it distracted from what could have been great. It was the way different parts of the story "wrapped-up" and not just the ending, but a couple times throughout the story as well. The messy craziness of an all female prison with "voices" is the very beauty of the story, so when this author wraps things up in such a cliche, overly-neat way, it distracts from the essence of the story and almost ruins it.
The narration was also not-great. She didn't change her tone of voice ever. The male and female characters all sounded the same, which actually wasn't too much of a problem. What was worse is the "hero" and the villains (and in a female prison you get mean villains) all had the same voice, which was distracting from the action in the story.
I would recommend this book. The reason I read reviews, especially for a 17 hour long audio book is to set my expectations, so that's what I'm doing here, is maybe helping set expectations. It's good, it's entertaining, but not great.
I take no joy in criticizing a work of Mike Carey. He has created flat out masterpieces like the comics Lucifer and Suicide Risk, and complete joy rides like the Felix Castor series. And I liked The Girl with All the Gifts just fine, so I came to this work full of enthusiasm.
And I was pretty into if for the first few chapters. He was clearly pushing the boundaries, writing in a way he never had before. He wasn't writing with lightness, or with any comic relief; he was getting serious.
The problem is that he never let up. The book is relentlessly grim, without a moment's respite. It is 100 chapters of grim. Additionally, the characters are, with a few minor exceptions, utterly unlikable. There is just no hook to the book. By about Chapter 25, I was asking myself why I was continuing: I didn't like the story, I didn't like a single character, and the central character was acting in ways that defied credibility.
In short, I just didn't care. About any of the various storylines, about any of the characters, about the outcome. I continued out of the respect that I have for the author, and, really, felt only relief at the end, that I didn't have to listen any more. The writing in the last few chapters, the last chapter especially, was pretty extraordinary. But it didn't make up for what it took to get there.
even though it's a totally different story, MR Carey has a lovely descriptive writing style that builds the tale with magic and suspense.
I won't write a rehash of the story, but will say that at first the more mystical elements might seem silly, but the author ties all the threads together neatly at the end. it's a ghost story, a mystery, a crime story with a dash of courtroom drama thrown in.
Finty Williams is a great narrator, her girlish voice able to make the characters distinct. She truly acts the parts, making you feel the characters feelings through her delivery. She was also the narrator for the Girl w all the Gifts, and she fits perfectly into this story as well.
Thoroughly enjoyable, I didn't want to stop listening!
Absolutely. The story has excellent character development and the performance is the perfect complement - not overbearing yet providing nuance.
The mystery is really well written; the story grabs you right away and all of the characters play an important part, nothing wasted. My empathy for the protagonist really grew as the story progressed.
The closing scene is touching and will stay with me for a long time. There is a lot of grief in this story and it does a good job of providing closure.
I almost cried a couple times! Obviously this is a bit of a commentary on the justice system and criminality in women and how and why women end up incarcerated. These are pretty heavy themes for a murder mystery.
This is not a sequel to The Girl With All the Gifts!
A little fantasy, a heavy amount of realistic action, a suspenseful story and lilting prose captured my imagination and took me on a memorable journey. As always, this author captivated me with unusual situations and prose. The narration was lilting and understated. The story had nice surprises. I loved it. I want more.
Very poor follow-up to The Girl with All the Gifts. This was a no-brainer instant buy based on my total enjoyment of that book, but I'll sure be careful before buying the next M.R. Carey book. This was like a first-effort novel that was rightfully rejected and left in a drawer until The Girl with All the Gifts came out.
I anxiously awaited this novel having loved the girl with all the gifts. It was very much not what I was expecting but also so very much more than I could have hoped. It is touching and painful with moments of righteous indignation but I couldn't stop listening. I look forward to M.R. Carey's next novel.
I have always had trouble distinguishing whether my appreciation of a given audiobook's merit comes from the writing or the reading. This is especially true in the presence of a strong narrator. Sometimes, though, and rarely, I happen upon a combination like M.R. Carey and Finty Williams and then the question becomes moot. Both are so strong that together they produce works of immense depth and beauty. In many respects, Fellside is different from The Girl with all the Gifts, but no less spectacular in it's texture, originality and wonder. Certainly, there are thematic similarities,e.g.,both stories center on initially powerless girls/women who blossom within implacable systems. But otherwise each is unique and something completely new. I believe that M.R. Carey has something unique and special to say, about the life, love, and horror that lurks about us all.
I devoured this book. I actually went and exercised so that I would have an extra excuse to listen to the book.
I love how Carey is able to intertwine multiple narratives into one story. That's probably my favorite part of this novel and "The Girl with all the Gifts." The book is extremely campy, but in a delightful way that doesn't feel condescending or as if it was attempting to appeal to the lowest common denominator. "Fellside" evoked the same feelings that reading a Nancy Drew book did when I was a kid - I was fascinated and hooked and involved, but I also felt comfortable and safe. (The actual text isn't like anything you'd find in a Nancy Drew book at all. The feelings I had were just similar.)
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