Still Alice was the last of the books from my spontaneous shopping spree and I picked up books I’ve purchased, but haven’t gotten around to reading yet (I know, I’m terrible). They’ve honestly been on my to-read list since last year and like the hoarder I am, I just kept buying more books.
I have a whole pile of horror, thriller and science-fiction books that I am itching to dig in to. So my next couple of posts will of those three genres. You’ve been warned.
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 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 favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
After reading this synopsis, I honestly thought The Girl with All the Gifts was about a girl who had “all the gifts” and was somehow a modern Lilith (the image I has was the little girl cast as Lilith in Supernatural) and would bring about the apocalypse if she didn’t learn to control her gifts.
I WAS DUPED!
I was so glad that the synopsis gave absolutely nothing away, only that we were going to meet a young girl named Melanie, a genius and very special girl. It amazes me how every detail was kept inside the book, hidden away for the reader to discover alone- Pandora’s box if you will. Which, might I add, is a running theme throughout the book. This is a rather difficult book to review because it is one of those stories that is best enjoyed if you know next to nothing about and I refuse to give away spoilers. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t terribly difficult to figure out what is going on, but the meticulously crafted narrative is a pleasure to experience every step of the way. I appreciated that despite the enormous amounts of medical and scientific research that clearly went into the making of this book, facts and figures are seamlessly incorporated into the story that makes all of it rather easy to understand. If you’re someone who likes reading about experimentation, dissection, or human eco-theory, this book will be like catnip. Even if you don’t, the human elements of the story as well as the fast-paced action sequences, occasional gore and engrossing plot, will keep those pages turning! The Girl with All the Gifts is a fan-FREAKING-tastic combination of medical thriller, the queer, feral curiosity of a child who is not what she seems, with wandering survival aspects and a badass heroine BUT it also has a scary-as-hell pathogen (based on a fungus that actually exists and oddly reminds of the Last of Us game). Carey has distinctly drawn characters and engineered touching relationships with and AWESOME ending of its own. Seriously. It was one of those endings that had me jittery with excitement. Not for the sheer ballsiness of it, but for how much it makes sense.