I’ve been on a bit of “dystopian fiction” bender lately. I promise that I’m going to be changing gears next week, but before I do, I’m ending with a big BANG.
This week’s pick is the just-published The Girl With All The Gifts.
Let me start by saying that I was totally mistaken about what this book was all about.
You might even say that I was tricked.
I was led to believe that Melanie, the bright young girl that gets strapped in a wheelchair every morning (guns pointed at her all the while) in order to be wheeled off to class had some sort of dangerous but desired supernatural gift.
Melanie’s “gift” is anything but. Ok, it is a bit of a blessing, in its own, twisted way. Carey does not immediately reveal where Melanie is, why she is in the wheelchair or what her gift is. She jokes with the guards who were putting her in the wheelchair that she wouldn’t bite, but they weren’t laughing. That should have given me a clue, but it didn’t. Here’s another hint…it isn’t a vampire novel.
And here’s the rub: how do I tell you what the book is about without spoiling the plot for you?
What we have is a survival story with an awesome heroine, a medical thriller, an apocalyptic theme….and a little something else.
Mix Kathy from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let you Go with Winnie from Tuck Everlasting and throw in a little <screeching halt> no, I won’t, I can’t spoil it for you. Melanie is complex.
Carey masterfully, carefully reveals the plot. The characters turn out to be much more complex and layered that your initially take them to be. So let me just say that it was horrifyingly terrifying, tense and a bit gory at times, while managing to be poignant, touching and leaving you rooting for Melanie.
This book is best enjoyed knowing as little as possible about the storyline, letting the book reveal itself to you.
And the ending? Brilliantly done, and totally out of left field.
Go. READ THIS. And that is all I the more I will say.
The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey was released yesterday, June 10.
An advance reader copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review. All comments are unbiased and fully my own.