The Girl With All the Gifts

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

The Girl With All The Gifts


This is a book where reviews lead to spoilers, which I will try to avoid. The story is told in two broad parts, the normal life before and the imperiled flight after. The general setting is 20 years after a major fungal epidemic wipes out the majority of Britain (and likely the rest of the world also).

Most of the story is told through the eyes of the main character Melanie, born into this dystopia and... different. Her favorite Greek myth is that of Pandora (the Girl with all the Gifts) and this myth and theme frame the story very well.

The rest of the novel reveals the perspectives of the various supporting cast. Archetypes abound (raw recruit, grizzled sergeant, obsessed scientist, etc.), but each of these characters has some depth and most experience subtle growth through the story.

The writing was very visual and generally well done. It didn't always feel like 20 years, and I wonder whether that choice was arbitrary or planned by the author. I have general quibbles about the physiology also, but was able to suspend disbelief for the duration.

The first version available at the library was the on-demand audio, and Flinty Williams did a very good job reading this. Though the setting and characters felt American, they at least *sounded* British. For me, this was a solid 4.5 star book, and I look forward to reading more prose from Mike Carey in the future.