Book Review: The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

“When your dreams come true, your true has moved. You’ve already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.”

― M.R. Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts

MR Carey's science-fiction book The Girl with All the Gifts was released by Orbit Books in June 2014. It was written concurrently with the script for the 2016 movie and is based on his 2013 Edgar Award-nominated short story Iphigenia in Aulis. It centers on a dystopian future in which a fungus-like zombie outbreak decimates the majority of mankind.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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.

My reaction to this novel...

Although I can't recall when I read this book, I finished it in about three days. I must admit that I am not a fast reader due to other work obligations, but if I really like the narrative of the book, I would try to finish it in under five days, and this book meets that criteria.

Dystopian futures are tough for me to imagine, and I find it challenging to read about them. Despite the fact that this narrative fell into that category, I found it tough to put down as I read it. I felt both terrified and excited. I wondered how I would have lived in those circumstances, and as I read this, I felt as like I was about to die. It's quite challenging. Since I've read other works with a similar subject matter, some of the authors couldn't put me in the scenarios they described, unlike M.R. Carey, which led me to question the veracity of the post-apocalyptic reality.

I worried throughout each chapter. All of it was in my thoughts. That is how it felt to me. When it was ended, I was ecstatic and actually wanted more of it. I have not yet read it, however I am aware that there is a second novel. I will, however, quickly hunt for it and read it when I find it.

This novel will undoubtedly challenge your imagination. Anyone who loves reading dystopian novels should give it a try. I seldom do, but this one made me want to. Definitely, it was worthwhile.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)

“the horror of the unknown is more frightening than any horror you can understand”

This is true for me since I am a cautious person and one of my anxieties is the unknown, and I believe I am not the only one who experiences this. Every time someone predicted anything would happen in the following several hours or days, it gave me dread. I suppose my aversion to surprises stems from my dread of being surprised.


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.