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

Rating: 3.5 of 5

The Girl with All the GiftsI requested The Girl with All the Gifts based on the blurb, which told me pretty much nothing about the actual story, but teased with its potential. I expected something in the realm of science fiction. What it delivered was [spoiler]a post-apocalyptic world with hungries, junkers, and troubled humans. The cause of the apocalypse was, based on a real parasitic fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, extra terrifying[/spoiler]. For its target audience, that well-written, moderately emotional, plot-driven story will be adored and proclaimed a must-read for 2014.

Yet I found it rather standard fare for its genre. The truly interesting and downright captivating portion of the book – the first 100 pages, with the “children,” their relationships, and their place in the world – was all but abandoned for the expected survival plot. Had the author stayed with the “children,” life on the block, the experiments, and really examined the “what it means to be human” question, he could have achieved so much more: a story that would have appealed equally to readers within and outside the genre.

I don’t fault Carey for taking the frequently traveled road and, as I’ve already mentioned, [spoiler]zombie[/spoiler] fans will most certainly eat this up. I’m sure there’s probably even a screen adaptation on the horizon. I had just hoped for more…

Read an excerpt on the book’s official website.

(Review cross-posted on LibraryThing and Goodreads.)

Received hardcover from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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