The Girl With All the Gifts – Book Review

The Girl with All the Gifts is a fictional novel authored M.R. Carey. The story is set in the future at a time when most of humanity has been wiped out following a bizarre fungal infection that turns normal humans into blood-thirsty zombies. The few surviving members of the human race (referred to as “hungries”) mainly live in heavily-guarded military camps or else roam in groups living off the land.

Each day, the men in the military bases find these survivors (who are children) and bring them to the camps where they are educated and tested by scientists. But there is one super-talented young girl who sends the experts back to the drawing board.

The future of humanity is at risk following a fungal attack. Many people are infected; they’ve lost their mental powers and prefer to feed on human flesh. The disease is spreading rapidly but somewhere in a heavily guarded camp called Hotel Echo, several of these infected people who are mostly children are separated and put under the scope of scientific research.

We see the eyes through the eyes of a young girl, Melanie who is incredibly intelligent and loves books. She is a normal child until the moments she smells human flesh and turns into a wild monster. We also see the world through the eyes of the lead scientist Caroline Caldwell who strives to understand this strange condition and probably correct it – even though she ends up killing many innocent children while at it.

This is a wonderful novel if post apocalyptic thrillers are your cup of coffee. It has a decent scientific underpinning and overall it’s an engaging read. On the flipside though, the ending feels a little rushed and some of the action sequences are a too cinematic. But the ending is smashing and so, so satisfying. The author has done a tremendous job.

The Girl with All the Gifts is not your usual child in peril novel. The author has introduced a fresh twist to it and capitalized on strong characterization to deliver something satisfying, exciting and incredibly easy to follow.

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