BOOK REVIEW: THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS


TITLE:  THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

AUTHOR: M.R. CAREY

BLURB: Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Every now and then a book comes along that you very badly want to talk about but you also very badly want not to spoil for others. This is one of those books. Let’s just say it puts a new spin on a very current horror genre by telling the story from not only the point of view of the characters that usually would be the antagonists but from the perspective of a group of children.

It’s 460 pages of almost heart-breaking pathos set against gun fired tension. The plot itself has more twists and turns than an alpine road and the interaction between characters keeps the reader on edge from the first page to the last. The relationship between the main character, Melanie, and her teacher Miss Justineau, takes us through shades of emotion that at times can actually be draining, but in a good way.

If you like thoughtful horror (yes that exists) with some action and a ton of tension, then this book is for you. It’s well written and none of the characters are from central casting. It plays quite a bit on the notion of Pandora’s box and just as we know the contents of that box was both light and shade, the characters populating this story defy you to classify them as good or bad, at least most of the time.

 

What I Did Like: The change of perspective from which the story is told and the new twist on a horror staple.
What I Didn’t Like: When it came to an end!

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