7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The walking dead. Again,
This review is from: The Girl With All The Gifts (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The opening chapters of this novel gripped me by the brainstem and kept me transfixed, flicking through the pages as I fast I could absorb the situation.
The weird schoolroom and its extreme routines for the 'unusually gifted' pupils, combined with the understated but convincing post-apocalyptic scenario, proved to be the perfect lure to get me engaged with Melanie, our heroine, and the cast of supporting characters. All very, very clever; deftly written with a credible scientific set-up and an entirely original culprit for the Awful Thing which has overwhelmed civilisation.
And then TGWATG turned into just another zombie apocalypse story, with biting and trudging and foraging and rival survivors, running, screaming, so forth, and... somehow, something very special turned into something quite ordinary. Better than the average end of the world, mindless jaw-snapping, teeth-grinding, blank-eyed trope but far less than it initially promised.
Once the crew hit the road and begin their unlikely trek through hungry-infested badlands, the only real reason to continue is Melanie's personal development. The evil scientist uncovers the not-so-shocking truth; the hard-ass soldier thaws somewhat, and we're left with a not entirely convincing plot device which we have to swallow whole for the ending to make any sense.
Weirdly, if I had known before starting it that this was an everyday tale of the flesh-eating undead, then I might have enjoyed it more. But the coy marketing ploy of disguising its central conceit kinda backfired for me.
Liked the fungi though.