The Girl with All the Gifts is a fantastic read. How good? When I first came across it, it had so many aspects that I usually dislike. I typically don’t do books this grim. I’m not a fan of books written in the present tense. If fact I rarely get through them. For The Hunger Games, I had to go to the audio book. Something about the style doesn’t compute in my head. I’m also not a fan of zombies.
None of these biases mattered. This book pulled me in so completely, I forgot about them. How often does a book overcome personal odds and earn such a high rating? Rarely. But The Girl With All the Gifts is that good. It’s transcendent. The girl herself, Melanie, is so perfectly written. She starts out sheltered but grows throughout. Her voice matures and becomes powerful.
Kudos to Mr. Carey for perfecting such a complex and compelling character. The same goes for the story itself. I thought this would be a hard science fiction story, one stuck in a lab or compound. That’s all there, but Mr. Carey wisely moves the action beyond the labs and turns it into a true survival tale.
Another reviewer likened it to The Day of the Triffids. I can definitely see that. It also has a similar tone to James Cameron’s Terminator and Aliens. Bleak, desperate, and thought provoking, this book will keep you turning its pages. I hated to finish it but admit to it having a stunning yet perfect ending.
I will remember this book for a long, long time.