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 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.
©2014 M.R. Carrey (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go.""If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing.""The story of Melanie and the people around her is so thoughtfully crafted, so heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human, that it takes the potentially tired trope of the zombie apocalypse and makes it as fresh as it is terrifying. The story spirals towards a conclusion so surprising, so warm and yet so chilling, that it takes a moment to realize it's been earned since the first page, and even before. It left me sighing with envious joy, like I'd been simultaneously offered flowers and beaten at chess. A jewel."
Oh yes. I was upset when I had to sleep.
I got this book because my curiosity finally got the better of me after reading review after vague review stating something along the lines of, "IT'S SO GOOD. It's about zombies. But I can't tell you about anything that happens because I'll spoil it for you. But it's sooo good!" Then it started winning awards.
So here's the short version of my review: "IT'S SO GOOD. It's about zombies. But I can't tell you about anything that happens because I'll spoil it for you. But it's sooo good!"
The longer version: You've heard that this is a "different take on zombies?" Yes. For starters, the cause is a fungus, not a virus. The science and explanation is vastly more well rounded than what you typically see for zombies. But then, I've never read another zombie book, so that could very well just be a tv/movie thing and I wouldn't know. And that's all I'll say about that.
The answer to your question about the little girl is yes. And again, that's all I'll say.
The plot flows in typical horror movie fashion for a large part: Things start out relatively ok. Then shit hits the fan. Then shit hits. the. fan. We're all screwed. This ship is going down. "I'm not going to die like this!" *shocking revelation!* Including the obligatory cheap, make-you-jump-out-of-your-seat scare that you totally knew was coming but it got you anyway. YES EVEN IN BOOK FORM. (Ok, I didn't really jump out of my seat - I was driving; it would have been bad - but I shuddered and TOTALLY WOULD HAVE IF THIS WERE A MOVIE.)
And now I find out that they're filming? Shutupandtakemymoney!
The writing is perfect. You are dropped inexorably into each character's mindset. You may not like them. But you probably don't hate them. Even though maybe you should because look what they just did. But how can you blame them for that? If you were them, you'd do it too. Because you understand their motivation just as well as if you were them.
It is an eerie, fantastic ride. And I will sit quietly in my corner and wait for the film.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (paranormal fantasy) - The Girl with All the Gifts is set in England sometime in the future after a strange infection has turned people into "Hungries." Not zombies, but very similar in that they eat humans, and there are very few humans left on earth. I'm not a zombie fan, but I was drawn to this book by the awards and the fact that it is supposedly written with a different slant on the genre. That is true to some extent. Don't want to give too much away, but one of the main characters is a Hungry, which gives a different perspective, and there's more interesting science in this book than in the usual zombie story. (But then I've only listened to two or three.)
I like the first and last of the book the best, the first because you don't really know what's going on, and the last because -- well, let's just say it's chilling and somewhat unexpected! There are some parts in between that are exciting and parts that are sweet, but for the most part it's just the usual zombie cr@p. Excuse me, they're called "Hungries" in this book.
PERFORMANCE - Miss Williams has a lovely voice and a British accent. She does a very good job.
OVERALL - I suppose men would like this book, but I think it might have a little too much girly stuff in it for some guys (like my husband). It's an easy listen, as there are only a few main characters to keep straight. Lots of zombie killing and gore and quite a bit of bad language as well. Very mild sexual references.
It was such a great twist compared to other stories like this. It also seemed pretty accurate as to how things would go if something like that did hit the world.
Honestly, the ending. I don't want to give it away, but it was definitely a surprise and very powerful.
I did have one issue with the science of it. The book was very detailed in how exactly everything works, but in reality, nothing could evolve to such a perfect point before even reaching the first reproductive stage. If you understandunderstand biology and evolution, you might need to suspend your disbelief. But, you almost always do in a book like this.
Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science
This is an extraordinary matching of a wonderful story and superb performance. In an allegorical story that is as definitional and startling as "A Canticle for Leibowitz" was in the 1960's, this book re-imagines and provides an articulate perspective on the entire Zombie sub-genre. (This comes from a reader who does not like 99% of the MANY derivative Zombie stories at all. DO NOT pass this over because of the nominal subject matter.) Moreover, unlike Leibowitz, this is an almost immediately accessible and enjoyable listen from the very first page. Don't listen to this because it is an important book--although it is--do so because it is engaging, powerful and downright fun. The performance is exceptional as well. The use of the voice of a young girl to provide the over-story is brilliant and humanizing. The questions raised seem so simple, but are engrossing.
I love you more than all the words, in all the books, in all the world...
I read this book months ago, and I still reflect on what an amazing story which was told. I still hear Melanie from time to time. I wonder of her, as if she became someone so very close to me. Hollywood will get to this novel soon enough and I hope it's done justice. Absolutely great read and like I said, it will stick with you for a very long time.
The pacing of the story was fantastic. The author did a great job balancing the character development with the "run for your life" segments. And that ending!
No, but I would for sure. The British accent was perfect since the story was set there. It added authenticity to the performance. Great work!
Excited to see if they option this into a movie of some kind. I think it would work beautifully. A great listen and completely unpredictable.
Yes, engaging story and so well read.
The fact that story was so well crafted that you could never figure it out ahead of time.
It took a little while to get into. This is not ny genre of preference but it had great reviews. So glad I stuck with it!
Audio was great, I haven't read print
Melanie, hands down. I felt connected to the characters. The author did a great job giving life to them and making the reader connected to them which must be difficult doing so during a zombie apocalypse!
Finty was amazing. I really enjoyed listening to hear narration.
I highly recommend this book. I never imagined I would pick up a Zombie book, but I thought it was so well written and kept me wanting more. I completed the 72 chapters in 3 days and was sad when it was over. Not because of how it ended, but because I finished it so quickly. This book kept you thinking!
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