Review: The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts is a zombie story in which not all of the zombies are mindless, brain-sucking creatures. Some of them are young children who are surprisingly intelligent. One of our main characters, ten-year-old Melanie, is one of these children.


I had mixed feelings. In the beginning, I really enjoyed the story and thought it seemed really unique. I enjoyed learning about Melanie and her environment, and I was curious to see how she’d deal with the experiences she was having. Before long though, it turned into a typical survival-horror story with your main characters on the run, trying to stay alive. That was when my interest slowly began to fade. I’m starting to think maybe I just don’t like those kinds of stories very much. I like to read horror now and then but I like it when they have more mystery and suspense to them. I want more to a story than characters endlessly running away from something, finding a safe haven, then having to run again, searching for the supplies they never have enough of, and so forth.


I never completely lost interest in the story, and there were still interesting things going on, but it became less consistently interesting and I was pretty happy to be finished with it by the end. I did kind of like the ending. I’ve read a lot of horror books where the ending is kind of up in the air, and I don’t care for that. This book had a pretty definite ending, and it seemed like a pretty appropriate ending. It wasn’t where I would have predicted ending up, but it seemed right.


This book is short, at least compared to the last few books I’ve read, so it was a fast-paced read despite feeling a little tedious. The chapters are extremely short – there are 72 chapters over the course of 405 pages. (My edition of the book has 460 pages in it, but the rest of the pages are interview questions and such.) I guess short chapters are a common tactic in this genre. In any case, I enjoyed it enough that I don’t regret reading it. I just wish it had remained as interesting as it had been when it first started out.