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The Girl with All the Gifts

by

The Girl with All the Gifts Cover

ISBN13: 9780316278157
ISBN10: 0316278157
All Product Details

 

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Staff Pick

Ten-year-old Melanie's entire world is a windowless prison. She has never seen the sky. She has only seen pictures of flowers and kittens. Melanie loves school, although sometimes students are taken away never to return. This is a novel of survival and hope. And zombies.
Recommended by Tracey T., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

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 is a very special girl.

Review:

"Comics writer Carey (Lucifer) delivers an entertaining take on several well-worn zombie tropes. Years after the requisite zombie apocalypse (this time caused by a mutant strain of an ant-killing fungus, probably the book's most original touch), scientists in a remote outpost in England are working on a cure by experimenting on a group of zombified children who retain some of their original emotions and cognitive functions. Although Carey piles on the clichés (beyond the apocalypse and the recently trendy intelligent zombies, there are rogue survivalists straight out of The Walking Dead, scientists willing to cross ethical lines, and the ever-silly notion that people would use any term other than 'zombies' to refer to the undead), he builds well-constructed characters — particularly Melanie, one of the zombified children, who comes across as cognitively and emotionally different from the other characters, without feeling like an offensive parody of a person with Asperger's. The requisite action sequences are also well constructed, and the book will appeal to fans of zombie fiction. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go." John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In

Review:

"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." Joss Whedon

Review:

"If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing." Martina Cole

About the Author

M.R. Carey is an established writer of prose fiction and comic books. He has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel's flagship superhero titles. His creator-owned books regularly appear in the New York Times graphic fiction bestseller list. He also has several previous novels and one Hollywood movie screenplay to his credit.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Audiemurphy1, August 19, 2014 (view all comments by Audiemurphy1)
I enjoyed this book very much. In a genre overrun with tragic zombie tales The Girl with All the Gifts is a fresh, fantastically written, hoot of a good time. I highly recommend it.
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Jennifer Dakki, August 16, 2014 (view all comments by Jennifer Dakki)
So many times we read something and the mind forms this thought... "I wonder what that character was thinking."

Carey dispels the potential for any such queries by artfully doing what we wish for... writing from the point of view of all the main characters. Five different characters tell the story that takes place within this unique world, and you process the information without stumbling through a single transition. Some chapters last a page while others last ten. This left every moment needing to stop to go to work or run an errand or any of the multitudes of things that keep us from reading with a natural stopping point. It similarly left us with the opportunity to get in that one more chapter.

The story itself is well told, and it is clear from the first page that Melanie is, as one character put it, "[an adult in the body of a child in the body of something else.]" You feel unsettled with her and with every quandary she comes up against. Melanie is... different. She knows this as much as everyone else knows, but there is a battle that rages within her. She has more knowledge than most college students today, and she probably processes information better. You will also meet the perspectives of Miss Helen Justineau (a teacher) alongside those of Sergeant Ed Parks, Private Kieran Gallagher, and Dr. Caroline Caldwell. Each contributes to the revelations about this dystopian world where zombies go bump in the night and the day.

This is my first zombie novel, and likely my last because I don't have an appetite for them (no pun intended). However, this is a novel that lives up to its hype. If you enjoy zombie books, Read It. If you want to be entertained, Read It. If you want to read a well written work with a unique story line... Read It.
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Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia, June 17, 2014 (view all comments by Stephanie @ Inspiring Insomnia)
The Girl with All the Gifts might be my favorite book of 2014 (so far). It’s certainly in my top 5. Before I discuss the book, I have to discuss the synopsis. I feel like I’ve been complaining about synopses a lot recently, usually because they don’t reflect the tone of the book. This is probably the most egregious example. The synopsis is written as though a very young child with a very limited vocabulary is speaking. You would rightfully assume that the book would be written in this same manner, but you would be wrong. WHY do marketers do this? Are they intentionally trying to turn off readers? I heard about this book from somewhere other than Goodreads, and I’m sure I would never had chosen to read it if he synopsis was all I had to go on. The main character is a 10 year old girl named Melanie, and I could understand the desire to write the synopsis in a young voice IF the MC had that same voice in a first person narrative. But that is not the case here. Melanie is a very intelligent girl, and the narrative is written with an intelligent tone in the third person and doesn’t reflect her voice at all.

Sorry to go on and on about this, but I don’t want the odd choice for the synopsis to discourage anyone from reading the book. Because ALL of you should want to read The Girl with All the Gifts, and I’m going to do my best to tell you why. I’m going to keep it vague, because you need to discover the secrets of the book for yourself.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic society in the U.K. Melanie and other children attend school classes, which seems normal enough on the surface, but it soon become apparent that something is not quite right, both with the children and with this school. We get hints of the nature of these differences early on, but it takes some time to learn what caused the apocalypse and how Melanie’s world reached this point.

Melanie has what could be called a childhood crush on her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau. Miss Justineau sees something in Melanie that stands out from the other children, and she can’t help responding to Melanie’s adoration, even though she tries to keep an emotional distance. Miss Justineau differs greatly from the other adults in Melanie’s life who treat her with apathy, at best, and shocking cruelty, at worst. It’s not hard to see why Melanie feels such affection for her teacher. The scenes between Melanie and Miss Justineau are heat-breaking. Melanie craves physical and emotional affection, just like every child deserves. But Miss Justineau can only do so much without risking her life and Melanie’s.

The Girl with All the Gifts starts out so strongly, and I thought that there was no way the story could maintain this pace. I was wrong, because the latter part of the book was even better. Melanie makes a decision at the end that has enormous implications. It affected me so much that it took a little while before I could even pick up another book. But was it the right decision? I think so, but that doesn’t mean that I was emotionally prepared for it.

Public service announcement: The Girl with All the Gifts is published by Orbit, a division of Hachette, the publisher that Amazon is battling. If you choose to buy this book (and you should!). think twice about buying from Amazon. Aside from the obvious reasons, Amazon is selling this at list price. B&N, Powells, and possibly your local indie, too, are selling it for significantly less.

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316278157
Author:
Carey, M. R.
Publisher:
Orbit
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Product details pages Orbit - English 9780316278157 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Ten-year-old Melanie's entire world is a windowless prison. She has never seen the sky. She has only seen pictures of flowers and kittens. Melanie loves school, although sometimes students are taken away never to return. This is a novel of survival and hope. And zombies.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Comics writer Carey (Lucifer) delivers an entertaining take on several well-worn zombie tropes. Years after the requisite zombie apocalypse (this time caused by a mutant strain of an ant-killing fungus, probably the book's most original touch), scientists in a remote outpost in England are working on a cure by experimenting on a group of zombified children who retain some of their original emotions and cognitive functions. Although Carey piles on the clichés (beyond the apocalypse and the recently trendy intelligent zombies, there are rogue survivalists straight out of The Walking Dead, scientists willing to cross ethical lines, and the ever-silly notion that people would use any term other than 'zombies' to refer to the undead), he builds well-constructed characters — particularly Melanie, one of the zombified children, who comes across as cognitively and emotionally different from the other characters, without feeling like an offensive parody of a person with Asperger's. The requisite action sequences are also well constructed, and the book will appeal to fans of zombie fiction. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "If you only read one novel this year, make sure it's this one, it's amazing."
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