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."
To call this is one of the best 'zombie' books I have ever read (I do like zombie books) would be to make it much smaller than it is. Sure, there are zombies, but this book is about human interactions--about humanity. Without giving any of the great turns and twists away, I have to say that the character development is absolutely brilliant. I can't recall a single instance in the book where a character went off-course in an unexpected way--those who changed (and many did) changed because they were reacting to something outside themselves (and the changes were powerful and moving); those who didn't change didn't change because nothing could have made them do so. You come to know each one of them well, especially Madeleine--the little girl at the center of the story. And what a story it is! M.R. Carey has crafted a tightly knit plot that will keep you at the edge or your seat (or wherever you happen to be while you listen) from start to finish. This was one of those audiobooks that I couldn't wait to get back to. Finty Williams is PERFECT for the narrator. Her rendition of little Madeleine's voice is particularly great (conveying innocence without ever being saccharine). Loved it! Can't wait for this author's next novel.
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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
The first 25 chapters are stunning. A Zombie novel written with intellect. The main character is a ten year old Zombie girl, who is sweet, a genius and just wants to be loved. She has spent most of her life in restraints and has no idea that she is a Zombie or that her life is not normal. She is rolled to class tied to a wheelchair. Her arms, legs and head or restrained. In her class are about thirty other Zombie kids. She loves learning. You will fall in love with this little Zombie and will be sicken in how she is treated. At about the 24th chapter there is a scene similar to UNSTRUNG.
I'M NOT TAKING YOUR MUZZLE OFF
After the 25th chapter the book does not get bad, it just becomes more like the other Zombie novels. The school is attacked and a small group of people with the Zombie girl in tow, most travel some distance through dangerous lands to get to safety. This of course is the bread and butter of most post apocalyptic novels. I just hated to see what was one of the most unique and well written Zombie novels go the common route. It was still well written during this adventure.
IF SHE STAYS SHE'S DOGMEAT
Even during the adventure part, there is that added aspect of these people traveling with what could be a dangerous Zombie. The girl is just finding out what she is and living with people is all she has ever known. Living in restraints is also all she has ever known. The debate among the survivors makes this part most important.
SQUARING THE CIRCLE
As the story gets to the end, we find that Carey is not done with his intellectual imagination. He comes up with a couple of more twists, not seen in similar books. The ending along with the work up to it, is fantastic.
This is a pet peeve of mine and does not affect the rating and that is the non use of the word Zombie. No where in this book will you hear the word Zombie. I believe just once you hear the word Undead. Several authors do this, they try to make a new word and act as if the general public is going to use that word. It is almost as if they feel they are going to have to pay a royalty to Romero, if the use the word Zombie. The word Zombie has been around a long time, even before Night of The Living Dead, if anything like this was to ever happen, the afflicted are going to be called Zombies by the general public, not THE HUNGRIES or the infected or any of the other names authors keep trying to make their own, so use the word, Zombie, cause that is what the reader is saying in his head.
The narrator does a really good job especially in the beginning, but I will say during action scenes, not so good. It is not bad enough to detract, just not up to the standards of some better narrators and that is action scenes only.
Over 10,000 people have bought, listened and rated this at audible so far, you are missing out if you don't check this out.
This is the first post apocalyptic book I have read - for that reason, it was interesting and very different for me. I thought the pace was good, the writing very good and the performance was excellent, but the story....
If I spend time reading fiction, I want a HEA ending. If I want reality, I turn on the news read a paper, read non-fiction, or look out my front door - I do not want to pay money for someone else's fabricated unhappy ending.
If it had a different ending, then I would have given it 4-5 stars, the rest of it was that good.
SET REVIEWS TO BE SORTED BY 'MOST RECENT' INSTEAD OF 'MOST HELPFUL'!
This was a flawlessly written page-turner start to finish. If it wasn't for listeners I follow, I'd never have heard about it! So glad I did. I will be thinking about this one forever. I had only gotten a few chapters in when I ordered a hard copy for myself and began sending paperback copies to friends. Most of my friends and relatives are already finished the book--and my sister-in-law zipped through it in one day!!
Narrator was excellent. Even my husband sat riveted. I only wish she narrated more books for adults; would love to listen to every book she has recorded.
Buy this book. You won't be sorry. It will be the best book you listen to all year.
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.
This was one of my favorites, which is surprising since I don't read much in this genre, but the drama, the humanity and yes, the inhumanity of some, was compelling and fascinating. You truly believe this story is plausible, rooted as it is in true emotions and instinct for survival.
One can't help but become fond of Melanie
No, I hadn't listened to any of her narrations previous to this, but I will seek her out in the future. She did a terrific job, delineating characters with subtle changes in timbre and accent… with no over the top voices or wild accents required.
When Melanie observes the other children in the auditorium.
I admired the way their saga ended, feeling just right.
im really scratching my head as to why this is getting so many five star reviews
all the "gripping, intriguing, engaging" just isn't there.
it actually does start out well with intrigue and a little mystery.
but shortly into the book, that all gets thrown out the window, and we get another basic, "oh we have to survive from the dead and reach this point"
which actually left me kinda disappointing. and it sort of just ended, there was no conclusion. after i was just like "thats it?"
its not a bad book by any stretch. but its just a simple fun read with not as much depth as you'd hope.
I'm not sure why the end of the world zombie invasion story occasionally grabs my attention when I should really be educating myself about climate change or some other important cause, but mea culpa - I've wasted my time with some of the best zombie thrillers.
This book stands apart from the pack. The science sounds believable (I can't believe I'm saying that for people trying to consume other people and infecting them), the characters are complex and there are several new spins on an old tale that continues to fascinate us zombie fans.
We are not brought in at the beginning of the outbreak. The zombies have already overrun most of the world. There are a few small pockets of civilization and a community of wild ruthless humans who have developed skills to roam freely and not get eaten - most of the time.
The girl with all the gifts is not a zombie. She is a student being studied in a small community. The relationship between her and one of the teachers is very special.
When deciding on a book, sometimes you read too many reviews and there is sometimes that one that spoils your journey of discovery with too much information. I recently read several reviews on a book everyone was raving about and one reviewer in one sentence destroyed the ending for me, so I didn't get the book. That could happen with this book. So look at the overall rating which is high, read only a few other reviews if you dare - and get ready to download a great story.
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