The Girl with All the Gifts
Published by Orbit on June 19th 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Horror
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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 Parks 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.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.
I’m kind of at a loss for words about this one. I dove into the book head first, expecting nothing, as I hadn’t read the summary; therefore, I knew nothing about it besides the title, which made the story seem like it would be cool.
The Girl with All the Gifts started out sucking me in; I couldn’t get enough of the story of young Melanie’s plight and had fun guessing to myself just what condition plagues the girl, as she is sequestered to a cell in a research facility, where other children like Melanie inhabit cells identical to hers, save for rotating artwork on the walls.
I was absolutely fascinated, that is until I discovered the condition from which Melanie suffers – she’s a highly intelligent child zombie being intensely researched by a doctor who chooses children in the facility to ‘study’. The primary doctor obviously gets a rush out of her disgusting ‘work’.
All of the above kept me interested; the relationship between Melanie and the institution’s teacher, Helen Justineau, got tired after a while and started to get on my nerves, which was too bad for me because the relationship between instructor and pupil is central to the book’s plot.
I felt like The Girl with All the Gifts was too long, at over 400 pages. I feel like Carey (a pen name for a well-known British writer) could have wrapped up the book in around 250 pages; the words stretched in front of me like an endless desert highway – no end in sight.
I finally started skimming the book after making it about 150 pages in. As I expected, the remainder of the tale was predictable, drawn out, and, quite frankly, boring.
I wanted to love The Girl with All the Gifts so badly, which is probably why I’m so disappointed.
The bottom line is that the book began very promisingly, with an awesome basis for a story line. Unfortunately, the borderline weird connection between Miss Justineau and Melanie turned me off very much; it was predictable – with Miss Justineau and Melanie simultaneously ‘saving’ each other in a symbiotic relationship.