Dear Diary, I read a Sci-Fi book – “The Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey

October 17, 2016 at 8:44 pm 2 comments

SPOILERS ALL OVER THE TOWN IN THIS REVIEW  (Okay you have been warned).

This book is amazingly clever.  Truly.  How the beginning and the end tie together is one of those gr17235026.jpgeat “oh wow!” reading moments that are really fun (and rare) when they happen.

The novel opens with Melanie, a young girl, who lives in a cell.  Each morning, armed guards come into her cell and strap her down in a chair and take her to her classroom with other children also strapped in chairs.  No one touches her, no one hugs her, and the guns and harsh reprimands seem to indicate that she is different from the people who guard her.

But one teacher, Ms. Justineau, seems to like Melanie and Melanie looks forward to the days when Ms. Justineau is in the classroom.  She reads the children stories, answers their questions, and seem to genuinely care about Melanie.  And life would have continued this way,  but then Melanie is taken beyond the steel door at the end of the hall.

On the other side of the door, Melanie finds herself in the laboratory with clear plans on the part of the cold and calculating doctor that she be dissected and placed in jars. At the moment that a scalpel is at Melanie’s head, the army base (as we find out) is attacked and zombies or “hungries” swarm into the clinic and begin attacking.  It is in this attack and the stopping a man from attacking Ms. Justineau that Melanie begins to realize what she is.  A hungry.   But a different hungry.  A thinking, talking, feeling hungry.   And so the question for the humans that remain, after a fungus has turned so many into hungries, is why are these children and specifically Melanie different?   Will she lead to a cure that could save everyone?  And that is all I will give away here.

In truth, the middle of this book made me a little road-weary and in parts felt a bit like “The Walking Dead.” But, overall this book is a brilliant take on the  genre.  The depth of the characters, the struggle of defining what makes us human, the pain of our pasts all are interwoven into what otherwise could have been a stereotypical apocalyptic-zombie book.

And all of that said, I am also proud of myself that I made it through an entire sci-fi book without even an eye-roll.  So there’s that.

 

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Entry filed under: October 2016 reads. Tags: , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brittany Jacoby  |  May 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Emily, I found your blog through google searching NF1. My son was diagnosed this week and your posts from the parent’s perspective resonated with me so profoundly. I would love to pick your brain on your experiences with your daughter so far if that is something you’re up for. I couldn’t find contact information for you and it seems you haven’t been active on your blog since last fall, but my email is mouthofpoems at gmail dot com if you get this and you’re willing to chat with me about what has turned out to be an incredibly overwhelming diagnosis.
    hope you’re well,
    Brittany

    Reply
    • 2. Emily Swanson  |  May 22, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Yes, I am so behind on my blog:(. Yes of course I would happy to email with you. If you want to email me your thoughts or what I can help with my email is ercrabtree@icloud.com. I look forward to hearing from you. – Emily

      Reply

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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