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The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl With All the Gifts

4.3 80
by M. R. Carey

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The USA Today bestseller

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,


The USA Today bestseller

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Original, thrilling and powerful."—The Guardian"

Unique and terrifying."—Booklist"

An instant favorite."—Boing Boing"

A great read that takes hold of you and doesn't let go."—John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN"

Heartfelt, remorseless and painfully human...as fresh as it is terrifying. A jewel."—Joss Whedon"

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

One of the more imaginative and ingenious additions to the dystopian canon."—Kirkus"

...a brilliant work of science fiction, but even people who never read science fiction should absolutely read this one."—io9.com

Ten-year-old Melanie is good-humored and a star student, but she lives in closely guarded lockdown. This partially zombified child has been kept alive as a medical experiment subject after an undead apocalypse laid waste to much of the planet. Early readers of The Girl with All the Gifts have praised it as a horror story with a human touch and as a novel perfectly described on the jacket as a cross between Kazuo Ishiguro and The Walking Dead. To quote the novel itself, "In an age of rust, she comes up as stainless steel." Definitely worth recommending.

Publishers Weekly
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)
Kirkus Reviews
Carey offers a post-apocalyptic tale set in England in a future when most humans are "empty houses where people used to live." Sgt. Parks, Pvt. Gallagher, Miss Justineau and Dr. Caldwell flee an English military camp, a scientific site for the study of "hungries," zombielike creatures who feast on flesh, human or otherwise. These once-humans are essentially "fungal colonies animating human bodies." After junkers—anarchic survivalists—use hungries to breach the camp's elaborate wire fortifications, the four survivors head for Beacon, a giant refuge south of London where uninfected citizens have retreated over the past two decades, bringing along one of the study subjects, 10-year-old Melanie, a second-generation hungry. Like others of her generation, Melanie possesses superhuman strength and a superb intellect, and she can reason and communicate. Dr. Caldwell had planned to dissect Melanie's brain, but Miss Justineau thinks Melanie is capable of empathy and human interaction, which might make her a bridge between humans and hungries. Their philosophical dispute continues in parallel to a survival trek much like the one in McCarthy's On the Road. The four either kill or hide from junkers and hungries (which are animated by noise, movement and human odors). The characters are somewhat clichéd—Parks, rugged veteran with an empathetic core; Gallagher, rube private and perfect victim; Caldwell, coldhearted objectivist ever focused on prying open Melanie's skull. It may be Melanie's role to lead second-generation hungries in a revival of civilization, which in this imaginative, ominous assessment of our world and its fate, offers cold comfort. One of the more imaginative and ingenious additions to the dystopian canon.

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8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

M.R. Carey is a pen name for an established British 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.

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The Girl With All The Gifts 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
I admit I read a couple of reviews of this book before I began reading it myself. The reviews were fabulous and hinted there was a big secret that shouldn't be spoiled by reviews that might give it away, so I immediately stopped, anticipating a mind-blowing twist in this novel. About ten pages in, I figured it out and assumed since it was that easy, there must be something else. But there wasn't. Without giving anything away, this book is about a topic that's pretty popular right now, but is explained in scientific terms that made complete sense and I liked that. Although the story was told in varying POV's, I especially enjoyed learning how Melanie perceived her world and had to make decisions far beyond her years. I also found it fascinating being in loathsome Dr. Caldwell's head to understand how she justified her actions. The relationship between Melanie and Sergent Parks was fascinating, and even touching at times as it evolved, although the primary focus was meant to be on the interaction between Miss Justineau and Melanie. I thought Parks was more of a realist, while Miss Justineau occasionally refused to see logic, although I really admired her spunk. While this book had several 'rush of adrenaline' moments, adequate pacing, and kept my interest, I thought the title, and even the cover were misleading and probably missing this novel's target audience. On the other hand, those who were misled but stick with it may be surprised at how much they enjoy this book. I would recommend The Girl With All the Gifts to sci-fi, horror, and dystopian readers - it was a different take on a subject that's been around for quite some time and was an engaging read. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book free from Net Galley and Orbit in exchange for an honest review. Thank you both for the opportunity!! This book was nothing like I thought it was going to be and after a little ways into, I realized it was another Zombie book. Ugh, love watching  The Walking Dead, but don't like reading Zombie books.  However, this one had a much different take on the genre and I found myself really getting into it. I really felt for the main character, Melanie, and enjoyed rallying her on. And, of course, there was the villain who everyone loves to hate.  The book was an easy read and I did so in two sittings, only because I had to stop for an engagement. It was very well written and I would recommend it to anyone that likes the dystopian genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The beginning really pulled me in and I found the whole story satisfying. The characters are well written. I liked how the reader was able to get into their minds to find out what made them tick. I also enjoyed the writing itself. It is well written, easy to follow and hard to put down.
Murky More than 1 year ago
the premise was fascinating until about the last quarter of the story. Then it seemed to lose itself with a saggy dissatisfying ending. We're talking characters facing global disaster - I just expected a smart, quirky ending.
Toni_LP_Kelner More than 1 year ago
I thought it was brilliant. The character of Melanie was so real, and the journey was riveting. But it was the ending I adore. Never saw it coming, but afterward, couldn't imagine any other way of finishing the story.  Yeah, brilliant is the word.
Kaylexanna More than 1 year ago
It was so awesome going into this book not really knowing what it was about or anything else about it. It made the beginning especially so much more awesome. I saw The Girl With All the Gifts advertised in ads on my phone and filed the title away in my brain for another day, and then a little while after it came out, it became one of my birthday book picks. I was very excited when it was chosen for my online book club, and while my expectations were fairly high, I was not disappointed. I fell in love with the first few chapters of this book as I learned about the world and the people bit by bit through Melanie's eyes, and while I was a bit jarred and disappointed by the changes of POV that take place after the first few chapters, I eventually grew accustomed to it and didn't mind quite as much later on. I loved Melanie's POVs and she was definitely a part of what made this book so awesome for me. There's also a lot of science in this book, and though I will admit that in parts, it went over my head, I enjoyed what I understood. It was really interesting in parts, and I liked that it felt plausible, or at least was explained in such a way that it did. I loved that the mystery here was unveiled bit by bit through science and through the characters' experiences and observations. As I mentioned before, I was originally disappointed by the multiple POVs. I was also a bit tripped up by the present tense, at least initially. Instead of flowing in my mind, it really stood out to me and I had a hard time getting past it at first, but eventually the story seemed to flow with it a bit better, and I didn't mind so much after I'd read a bit more of the book. It's really hard to talk about books that blew you away, but I loved how everything came together. Even though it's been a week since I finished this book, Melanie is still in my head. I can't stop thinking about her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel uses the idea of zombies to explore what it is to be human and how love, loyalty and trust affect the way we behave. It is not a very bloody version of zombi or vampire novels but it does have some "gross" descriptions. For me, these are outweighed by the development and growth of the characters. The main character, Melanie, has distinctive personality and point of view. She combines a sort of innocent idealism with clearsighted intelligence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has such strong characters and smart narration that is too often lacking in these books. Even if youre not a fan of zombie novels. You will love this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pretty good, very descriptive, and it gets you wondering what will happen next. I personaly couldnt put it down so it only took me about 45 mins for me to read it. So yeah it was good
Anonymous 7 months ago
I had a hard time getting into this story. The reviews lead me to expect something different then I got. Zombies. I won't say anything more because some people might like this story. I have a rule about books. If I am not into the story by fifty pages I quit reading. When I have broken the rule and finish the book I am always disappointed and feel like I wasted my time. I broke the rule and finished it . Wish I had not broke the rule.
BrandieC More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars The Girl With All the Gifts has received a lot of hype, so I was expecting great things from this post-apocalyptic read. Unfortunately, it did not deserve all the buzz. The premise was interesting, and Carey did a good job in developing the relationship between Melanie and her teacher Miss Justineau, thereby earning the extra half star. However, there was no real sense of danger, urgency, or surprise; without those qualities, a zombie novel just falls a little flat. I received a free copy of The Girl With All the Gifts through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book. I got a free sample of the first few chapters and didn't even look at it again until a friend mentioned she read it and liked it. I picked up my sample and was so engrossed I had to read the rest. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because the ending was kind of a disapointment but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone that loves the classic undead theme will appreciate this new take. Lots of heart and very engaging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good couldnt put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love zombies. i also love well-thought-out science fiction, characters with depth, unusual love stories, and exciting plots. this is the book with all the gifts. most zombie books choose from one of a few weaknesses: thinly-imagined characters, poorly-thought-out fictional science, gore at the expense of plot. this one redeems the genre. read and enjoy!
lindagshaffer More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!!  I hope there is mote to the story, I want to know what happens to Melanie.  Read this book, it's can't put it down great!!  
Anonymous 3 months ago
I loved the cover. I'm a parent & grandparent. It's impossible to ignore your child with outstretched arms. So the cover git me. BUT the book is wonderful and takes you o n a amazing, disgusting and insightful journey with Melanie as she learns her fate in this world of physical destruction.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. I would not hesitate reading anything else by this author!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Very engaging novel, but pretty gory so might not be good for the younger ones.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Not your typical zombie flesh eating story. Interesting and complex characters. Poses some ethical questions not typical for the genre. Excellent pace, plot was creative. Really enjoyed the book, sorry it ended!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Liked the book very much I would definitely recommend it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Not what I expected at all! It was so much better!
Anonymous 5 months ago
So good
Anonymous 6 months ago
Started out strong but I found myself bored after about half of the book.
WhatsBeyondForks 7 months ago
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey is quite different from other zombie books. The story is told from shifting points of view. While Melanie is the main character, we get the perspective of a few of the other characters as well which added depth to the story. With all the similar zombie stuff out there, we needed something different. This story was interesting and definitely different, yet still very believable.