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The first 25 chapters are stunning. A Zombie novel written with intellect. The main character is a ten year old Zombie girl, who is sweet, a genius and just wants to be loved. She has spent most of her life in restraints and has no idea that she is a Zombie or that her life is not normal. She is rolled to class tied to a wheelchair. Her arms, legs and head or restrained. In her class are about thirty other Zombie kids. She loves learning. You will fall in love with this little Zombie and will be sicken in how she is treated. At about the 24th chapter there is a scene similar to UNSTRUNG.
I'M NOT TAKING YOUR MUZZLE OFF
After the 25th chapter the book does not get bad, it just becomes more like the other Zombie novels. The school is attacked and a small group of people with the Zombie girl in tow, most travel some distance through dangerous lands to get to safety. This of course is the bread and butter of most post apocalyptic novels. I just hated to see what was one of the most unique and well written Zombie novels go the common route. It was still well written during this adventure.
IF SHE STAYS SHE'S DOGMEAT
Even during the adventure part, there is that added aspect of these people traveling with what could be a dangerous Zombie. The girl is just finding out what she is and living with people is all she has ever known. Living in restraints is also all she has ever known. The debate among the survivors makes this part most important.
SQUARING THE CIRCLE
As the story gets to the end, we find that Carey is not done with his intellectual imagination. He comes up with a couple of more twists, not seen in similar books. The ending along with the work up to it, is fantastic.
This is a pet peeve of mine and does not affect the rating and that is the non use of the word Zombie. No where in this book will you hear the word Zombie. I believe just once you hear the word Undead. Several authors do this, they try to make a new word and act as if the general public is going to use that word. It is almost as if they feel they are going to have to pay a royalty to Romero, if the use the word Zombie. The word Zombie has been around a long time, even before Night of The Living Dead, if anything like this was to ever happen, the afflicted are going to be called Zombies by the general public, not THE HUNGRIES or the infected or any of the other names authors keep trying to make their own, so use the word, Zombie, cause that is what the reader is saying in his head.
The narrator does a really good job especially in the beginning, but I will say during action scenes, not so good. It is not bad enough to detract, just not up to the standards of some better narrators and that is action scenes only.
Over 10,000 people have bought, listened and rated this at audible so far, you are missing out if you don't check this out.
129 of 149 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Girl with All the Gifts again? Why?
Yes ... because the writing, the characters, the story, the ending, and the performance were all so satisfying. Thank you, Mike and Finty!
What did you like best about this story?
So much ... impossible to choose. None of Carey's characters is a cartoon; all are fully and wonderfully drawn. The story is full of little, almost offhand turns of phrase that just resonate through you, again and again ... little chilling chords that mimic the author's equally skillful carving and direction of plot. In a world overfull of zombie apocalypse stories, Carey has created one that is truly exceptional and non-formulaic. I was so sorry to see this book end!
What about Finty Williams’s performance did you like?
Everything, everything, everything. After several years of listening to narrated books, I have so much respect and admiration for truly exceptional narrators, and Finty Williams goes to the top of my all-time favorites list. Intonation was perfect, for every character, scene, and situation. Never too slow, too maudlin, too dramatic ... never grating, never monotone. Just wonderful. Thank you, Finty, for taking an already wonderful book and adding yet another layer of perfection to it!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The ending both moved and surprised me ... I didn't see it coming, and while it made me uneasy and uncomfortable, I could not, at the same time, argue with the characters' rationale.
Any additional comments?
I bought this book after reading a sample chapter or two, but of course, not knowing really what to expect. The book bounces around in a third-person omniscient way, which is a perspective that I sometimes find tricky for authors ... but it is particularly well-done here.
I would not describe myself as a connoisseur of "zombie books," though I have read a few, and I didn't come to this book with more than light "genre story" expectations. I was pleasantly and poignantly surprised. Five hours in, I started the book over so my husband and I could listen to it together (something I have only done with one other book in 7 years). In short order, Carey introduced us to characters we genuinely cared about, set in a scenario a bit outside the typical one ... and when, all too soon, we reached the end of this amazing story, he gave us an ending that manages to be somehow both entirely unexpected and inevitable.
Highly, highly recommended. I'm going on to check out some of Mike Carey's previous books now.
99 of 120 people found this review helpful