‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ is zipping right up to my ‘best zombie books’ list, right alongside World War Z and Zone One.
The book hits pretty much everything I might want from my literary zombies:
Tight, tense pacing? Check.
Believable, multi-faceted characters? Check.
A good number of familiar genre tropes, mixed with some strikingly original (and extra-creepy) elements? Check.
Violence, action, and gore? Check.
Total apocalypse? That too.
All that, and a super-sweet, delicately treated musing on the innocence of childhood, love, ethics, and the nature of what it truly means to be human.
In many ways, Melanie is a typical ten-year-old girl who loves stories, has a bright and curious mind, and a hero-worshipping love for her favorite teacher. But in other ways, Melanie is very, very different… The story starts with a tight focus on Melanie (it couldn’t be much tighter, as she has no memories of ever being much outside of her classroom and her personal cell…), but the view gradually pans outward, encompassing a blasted wasteland, an apocalyptic London, and eventually, the world…
I looked up the author, as it wasn’t a name I was familiar with. M.R. Carey is actually Mike Carey, well known for his work on (high-quality) comic book titles and some other novels. I wasn’t surprised – this doesn’t read like the work of a novice in any way. Highly recommended for fans of The Walking Dead – and just about everyone.
Copy provided by NetGalley – much (really, in this case a LOT of) appreciation. As always, my opinion is my own.