The Girl with all the gifts by M.R. Carey

I decided to read this after seeing a trailer for the film coming out in the UK later this month. I’m a huge fan of zombies and as you know by now I will literally read anything and everything.

This is a novel told from multiple perspectives that gives a unique view on the zombie apocalypse theme and the aftermath. The main voice in the book is that of Melanie, she seems like an ordinary girl in a strange world of underground living, military figures and other children just like her. It isn’t until a few pages in when you are told the children only eat once a week, are covered in disinfectant and strapped into their chairs that you begin to twig that something isn’t quite right. We learn early on that Melanie and the other children are zombies in a world that has been all but wiped out by a virus that feeds on its host.

The story switches between Melanie’s teacher, Miss Justineau, the military man who keeps them secure on the base, Sergeant Parks and a scientist, Dr Caldwell.  There are a few other little snapshots in there too from other perspectives but these with Melanie provide the main four voices..

A break in at their base results in nearly everyone dying, a flood of zombies and forces Parks, Caldwell, Justineau and Melanie to go on the run.  They head towards the only human haven left in the UK, a base that has been silent for months while trying to learn more about the virus and survive the zombies they run into.  As the book progresses, we encounter emotive situations where we learn how Melanie came to be and why she is not like the other zombies, but what does that mean for the future?

I really enjoyed this book; it was well written, fast paced, filled with action and made me think. The ending was not what I was expecting and that always wins a book brownie points from me. I love the simple design of the cover and I loved the interwoven narratives each with a distinct voice.  This is a four star book for me, just because of the range of emotions I felt while reading it and the impact it had on me.

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