The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
Published June 19, 2014 by Orbit
Genres Dystopian, Science Fiction
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 favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.
This book is told through several different perspectives that change randomly by chapter including Melanie, Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks, Dr. Caldwell and later a solider named Gallagher. It was very interesting to hear from Melanie’s point of view and to see the world from her point of view, which is much different from the other characters. All of the characters in this book are very well written and I really felt that I got to know each of them, with the exception of Gallagher, as we don’t hear from him in too many chapters. The author also does such a great job in establishing the relationships they have with each other, which is an important part of the book.
While the book does focus a lot on the characters and their relationships, there is also a great deal of action and suspense throughout the book. We don’t immediately know how England has become the dystopian society that it is, but as the story moves along, the characters fill in the blanks about how they came to where they currently are. I think the author did a good job balancing the action and suspense along with the attention on the characters. And although the ending wasn’t what I was expecting, I thought it was brilliant.