Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey


You've read zombie stories, but you haven't read a zombie story quite like The Girl with All the Gifts.

Melanie is a young girl who lives in a military compound, goes to classes, and sleeps in a cell for safety. Outside, there are "hungries" who eat people and "junkers" who are the unfortunate non-hungries who don't live in a safe place like Melanie does. But one day, everything changes and Melanie's safe world is no longer an option and she finds herself out among the dangers she has been told of, with her favorite teacher, a Sergeant she doesn't like and a Private she doesn't know, and a doctor she doesn't really trust.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story. So often a zombie novel gets the main characters out into the open and it turns into a slog of zombie encounter followed by false sense of security, rinse and repeat. I did not get that sense from this story. The descriptions are also excellent, often using the mechanism of explaining things to the very intelligent but lacking-in-experience Melanie to describe things like the history of their dystopian world.

I cannot recommend any books like it because I don't know of any quite like it, However, it does talk about fungal parasites quite a bit and reminded me of quite a bit that I learned from the YA novel Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (reviewed here yesterday).

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