I’m crediting M.R. Carey for getting me out of my worst reading slump ever.
If one could binge listen to a book, then I think that’s what I did with The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. I bumped up the audiobook’s speed to 1.4x because I just had to know what happened next. I’m sure I missed some minor details and nuances, but I’d probably miss those if I were reading a print version. I tried to bump the speed up more, but my brain couldn’t adjust.
Before I get to the review, I have a minor spoiler (which becomes evident to readers early on in the book).
Ready? Spoiler below:
I shall preface that I’m not really into zombie stories, but The Girl With All the Gifts captured my attention because of the humanity portrayed in it. It’s not just the humans, but in Melanie, the girl in the book’s title. She is a zombie.
What makes the story so fascinating is that Melanie doesn’t know that she’s a zombie. She thinks she’s a human child stuck in a metal prison. As readers, we learn about the novel’s post apocalyptic England through her innocence and her curiosity. It’s a device that was used in Emma Donoghue’s Room. Both authors used this point of view without making the story trite or childish.
Much of the book is Melanie journey through post-zombie aftermath in England. There’s plenty of action, of course, but the discovery of who she and and what she’s capable of keeps us reading. The crux of the story forces to examine what our definition of humanity really is.
I can’t say too much more about The Girl With All the Gifts. It’s a page turner so perfect for a bit of holiday binge reading.
Are you a fan of zombie stories?