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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 April 2015
This dark, post-apocalyptic tale is a stunning thriller which kept me on edge all the way through. We start with the point of view of Melanie, a young girl kept in a stark and inhuman bunker with class mates and a selection of teachers. Slowly, we realise why. They are under military control and only one person who comes into contact with these children, the teacher, Miss Justineau, retains any vestige of humanity. Can we blame them? We don’t yet know what’s happening ‘out there’. A fungus has infected humanity and the scientists are desperate to find a cure. Do these children carry an immunity and if so, how can it best be turned into a cure?

I was absolutely gripped by this story and by what it tells us of human nature and its response to adversity. The little girl was a haunting figure and all the way through I wanted her to be safe. I cared about her and her survival. I also felt for her teacher, fighting against immense odds to look after her charge. Other characters pulled me or repelled me, but sometimes I changed my mind about them as their stories unfolded. The end was sublime. Horrific in some ways but ultimately hopeful. It’s a haunting story and I shall not forget it in a hurry. Highly recommended.
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on 19 March 2017
M R Carey is a pen name (not a mysterious one at all) for Mike Carey, comic book writer and other projects and so he has written this critically acclaimed zombie fiction. The zombie apocalypse has already occurred, quite some time ago and in this novel it is referred to as the Breakdown. Every piece of zombie fiction has it's labels for aspects of the zombie apocalypse. In this the zombies are called Hungries. And they are not quite the braindead, fleshy, plodding creatures that we are used to.

The book opens in a scientific military complex where children are kept captive and sometimes get wheeled away never to appear again. Miss Justineau is one of their teachers and she forms a close bond with one of the captive children Melanie. It becomes clear that the children are different and Dr Caldwell sees them purely as test subjects, available for dissection. Parks, a gruff soldier is seemingly untouched by events at the compound and is a soldier first and foremost.

Anyway, one night Miss Justineau, Melanie, Caldwell and two soldiers Parks and Gallagher have to escape the compound together. And so begins a journey to another military compound where they think they will be safe again and Caldwell is determined to continue her research. She is searching for a cure to the zombie infection, but she is bloody minded in her approach and sees nothing but the end result. Far from being the dangerous burden of the group, Melanie proves herself to be the saviour.

Y'know, I like zombie fiction in its myriad forms. And The Girl With All The Gifts has enough novelty and innovation to make it stand above the derivative masses, but it didn't always hold my attention. The most interesting aspects in the story are not given enough weight to make an emotional impact. There's just too much plot driving here rather than spending time on the innovative aspects - such as Melanie's response to the wider world, her struggle to come to terms with who she is. That said, it's a good solid read with skillful story-telling and well worth picking up.
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on 15 May 2017
The girl with all the gifts on the surface seems like any other zombie survival story a group of survivors trying to survive the end of the world, however there are many things that set this apart from other zombie survival books. The world has come to an end and their is only a small amount of the human race left one of which is a young girl called Melanie. However this young girl is special she is infected with the very disease that has taken out the vast majority of the human race. Melanie lives at a military base along with other children who are infected with the same disease. For Melanie life is good until the base is attacked and she is on the run with a handful of survivors just to survive the horrors of the world outside the base. What makes this story unique is that the main hero is a monster but you want her to survive and find a better life at the end of it all. The ending is also interesting do some of the group survive yes but whether or not it's a happy ending well depends how you look at it. All in all its a brilliant story of survival and finding that ultimate connection regardless of who or what you are.
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on 14 September 2016
4.5 stars

I don’t really want to say a lot about this book, for 2 reasons. Reason one is to keep potential readers in the dark about what this entire book is. I feel like it’s one of those reads where you want to go in blind, it definitely made it more enjoyable for me going into it that way. The second reason is more selfish… I felt a lot of different emotions going through this book, especially within the last 50 pages! I have no desire to relive the rollercoaster I went through! I feel like the emotions from this book are gonna stay with me for a long time, so don’t expect much from this review other than spoilers (which will be hidden) of me getting emotional.

If you’re looking for a book that gets straight into a story then this will definitely please you. There’s no dilly dallying whatsoever, we get into the meat of the book within the first 50 pages which is such a relief because I hate chunky books that seem to take forever to get into the story. I wouldn’t recommend reading this if you have quite serious trypophobia. I have it quite mildly but there were a lot of times where I was reading and getting very panicky and sick feeling because of the grotesque imagery.

Each character is developed so incredibly well, as there aren’t many throughout the book we’ve got loads of time to get to know them with each chapter flitting about between perspectives.

I don’t know if I’d class this as purely a thriller, it’s is also a horror and a sci-fi, which is definitely a great mix. It was definitely a really enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading more of Carey’s work. Fellside is next on my list to read!
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on 10 May 2017
It's testament to the book that the storyline stayed in my mind long after I'd read it. the plot was a novel take on the apocalypse, and the notion of the horrible fungi was very effective. I liked the structure too - starting with this bizarre prison / school, and then entering the outside world. It was very well paced, and the characters excellently realised.

I remember being a tad frustrated with it at times, when it felt a bit sensationalist, but that might be to do with the fact that it's yet another dystopian novel. However, given I'm not a mad fan of the grim dystopian genre, I think this book did a pretty good job of swaying me
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on 12 May 2017
Lots of great reviews, and a personal recommendation, but a gripping tale (if a little too like The Walking Dead) wasn't enough. The low quality of the prose had me reaching for the next book about a third of the way through, but I had been lazy enough to have nothing lined up. Circumstances forced me to continue, and the story was enough to make me finish this book, but I feel the need to read something better, and I doubt that I'll give it another thought.
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on 13 July 2016
Great read! There was action all the way until the last page. Usually when I read a book, the last two chapters ca get a bit boring and is usually about everyone living happily every after but this book was exciting and tense all up to the last page. It was great. You should define read this book. It is very unpredictable and very interesting the relationships that form throughout. This is a must read. I heard they are making a film to this book.
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on 10 September 2014
This is an intelligent book about the undead with an element of truth in the cause, the possibility of the dead coming back to life is a bit far fetched in anybody's book but what if. The hunger takes over before death does. The perspective that this book takes is gripping and drags you into the story from the beginning, this is an intelligent book with a great story if you like a book with an element of possibilities, the girl with all the gifts is definitely worth a read.
The characters are excellent and interesting, the plot is original and based on factual 'zombie' life and i didn't predict the ending. Brilliant!
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on 17 March 2017
A truly unique novel with great depth. It deserves all the success it has received. Difficult to say too much, just in case there is someone (anyone?!) out there who hasn't heard of the book and/or movie, and I don't want to provide the much-loathed spoiler.

The final third for me was less well-crafted than the first two-thirds - but a stellar read nonetheless.
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on 19 June 2017
I'm not normally a fan of anything zombie-like but I loved this book because it was well-written and gripping. I sometimes couldn't put it down and found my body tighten up when it got intense. It didn't feel like a zombie book but sometimes seemed like something similar might happen in the future.
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