Friday, December 19, 2014

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts
3 Stars
“Then like Pandora, opening the great big box of the world and not being afraid, not even caring whether what’s inside is good or bad. Because it’s both. Everything is always both. But you have to open it to find that out.”Melanie has been a prisoner for a long time. All of her days are the same. Guards come to her cell, strap her securely into a chair and wheel her down the hall . . . . to a classroom? Obviously Melanie isn’t your average student – and neither are any of the others in her class.

Although The Girl With All The Gifts had been on my to-read list for months, I had no intention of reading it anytime soon. I had requested an electronic version of this book (a paper version wasn’t available) from the library and waited FOR.EV.ER. When my turn finally came up, guess what? The format wasn’t Kindle friendly, so I decided to say screw it and ease on down the road to the other eleventy billion books on my list. But then Easy E and One Wicked Witch strong-armed me into a buddy read and even offered to supply the damn thing for me. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

I knew nothing about this book going in . . . except that it had been nominated as “Best Horror” in the Goodreads awards, that ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-NINE of my friends had already read it, and that the average rating from those friends was 3.94. My thoughts upon starting? “Ruh roh, Shaggy, someone’s gonna hurt me if I don’t like this one.”

My rating wavered at either a 2 or a 4 throughout the entire book. The good stuff was goooooood, but there was quite a bit of “meh” along with it.

I think both Edward and Shelby are going to differ from me on this one, but I seriously dug Melanie’s voice (except I thought it read around the 7-year old age mark rather than 10). Having this story told from the eyes of a small child helped serve up a little of the creepout factor I was craving . . . but then we started getting a military perspective, and a teacher’s perspective and a doctor’s perspective and I was all

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I had the same reaction to the science and the world building. The “it’s the end of the world as we know it” vibe was strong and I motored right along through the “prison” and then beyond. And beyond. And beyond. And beyond. By the time these folks got done walking even my feet hurt. This tactic either works or it doesn’t. In this case (for me at least) it was overkill. There’s only so many times a reader should need a description of the landscape – if they still don’t get it after the umpteenth time it’s their problem, not the author’s. Same goes for scientific mumbo-jumbo. 9 times out of 10 some d-bag will pop up crying foul that “science doesn’t work that way.” Sometimes it’s best to just gloss over things and stop with all the talky-talky.

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Alright, so there are my complaints. Now on to the good stuff. The bad guys were baaaaaaad. And fast. There were no lumbering halfwits roaming around. They may have been stupid, but they were going to catch you . . .

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and then they would eat the hell out of you like you were the G.D. Sizzler.

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“The hungries smell you, and then they chase you until they eat you. They can’t stop themselves.”


There was also a grey area. Bad wasn’t exclusively bad and good wasn’t exclusively good. And one of the baddest might just end up being one of the goodest (just go with it) . . .

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Inappropriate humor. I love it and this book has it:

“She dodged through all kinds of irrelevant thoughts. A poem in a book: ‘I love little kitty, her coat is so warm. And if I don’t hurt her, she’ll do me no harm.’ She didn’t love little kitty all that much. Little kitty didn’t taste half as nice as the two men she ate back at the base.”

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And finally, if you’ve bothered to glance at any reviews you had to have noticed comments about the ending. While the ending didn’t come as a huge surprise to me, I did still enjoy it and was glad it didn’t end up being a massive cop-out kind of wrap up I feared it would be around the halfway point.

So there you go folks. I’m giving this one a 3 because my opinion was one extreme or the other. However, EVERYONE liked this book so if you’ve been thinking about it, you should definitely give it a go. 
Copy provided by Edward Lorn in exchange for a chance to say he buddy read with Mitchell

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