This is not your average post-apocalyptic, zombie thriller…this is The Girl With All The Gifts!
We’ve seen zombies everywhere now. The zombie, undead, walker, hungry (as this book calls them)…whatever you call them, they’ve become part of our mainstream media culture nowadays. Each new addition to the genre adds something a little different, an inflection here and there to make it their own and M.J. Carey’s offering does the same too.
Melanie spends her days split between school and her cell. School is a haven where she can be free and find out about all the things she never knew. Her cell is the complete opposite. She’s locked away for hours on end with no form of entertainment and nothing to take her mind of the current state of the world. For her, the outside world is just a distant memory and those memories are what she clings on to for dear life.
Her classmates come and go, with no apparent explanation from teachers. Are they being taken away to somewhere new? Somewhere better? Or somewhere worse, perhaps?
A sudden event forces Melanie to fight for her life and flee the world she has come to know with her only ally in the world, the brilliant Miss Justineau and a few other select members of the ‘school base’. Melanie discovers that she is far more than the average girl- she has a gift; a gift that she needs to share with the world.
Although its easy to paint this story with the typical zombie thriller brush, it is far from that. This story is about ‘human’ relationships through tough times and knowing who you can really rely on during those days. The relationship between Melanie and Justineu is reminiscent of the adoration of Miss Honey by Matlida in Roald Dahl’s classic tale about similar themes. I seem to relate a lot of the things that I read to Roald Dahl, but the backbone of this story really is Matilda through and through. An individual, largely alone in the world, who finds solace in one person who they then trust with their life. This is Matilda with zombies (but for a much older audience)!
This is one of those books that I’ll be recommending to anyone and everyone!
Buy from Waterstones.com
Out now from Orbit Books (Little Brown imprint)