Friday, March 9, 2018

When It All Goes Down, What Do We Keep?

The Girl with All the Gifts
by M.R. Carey

Read on November 14, 2015. 

I can't remember, now, how I found out about this book. This, unfortunately, is a review that I did not write at the time of reading, being the procrastinator that I am.  It's actually four months later, which is bad, but does give me the opportunity to look back and see what has stayed with me over time and through the reading of, hmmm, let's see, twenty-two books since this one.

Surprisingly, the answer is, quite a lot. Melanie as a character is fantastic. Her teacher and the security man and the other traveling companions all still hold a place in my head, despite their names escaping me.

At first, I thought the story was going to take a very different arc. Then, as Melanie and her companions' journey began to take up larger and larger parts of the book, I realized the resolution could not be what I was expecting. There simply wasn't time. The actual resolution is fairly unique, to my knowledge. I would love to read a sequel, although I do not think there are plans for any. I want to see Melanie make her plan a reality. (Note from 2018 - not only is there a movie, there's a stand alone book set in the same universe. Still no actual sequel, though.)

I give this book, overall, pretty high grades for execution. The premise hangs together. People do things based on realistic motivations. The 'science' behind the epidemic and Melanie's existence is not stretched too far. It's about as believable as The Passage, which is pretty good company to be in. And like a lot of other good apocalyptic books, it takes a hard look at humanity and what's worth saving. 

Final Call: 

Mushrooms for the win!

If you like this, try:
Other zombie books are sure to please, so maybe try World War Z by Max Brooks? Both are spins on the traditional zombie tale but I think this one, despite staying at a smaller scale, is more innovative. 

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