Remember Roald Dahl’s Matilda? A sweet little girl with a heart of gold who teaches us all the wonderful lessons of life? In M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts, Melanie is a lot like Matilda. She’s brilliantly smart, super sweet and practically worships her teacher Ms. Justineau.
But Melanie is a zombie.
Well, she’s half zombie… actually she’s full blooded zombie but also pseudo zombie. Her zombie senses don’t come to light unless she smells human flesh. So the remaining humans keep her in a prison-like lab for research with Ms. Justineau teaching them. That is, until a series of events that lead the pack into the zombie infested neighbourhoods of England.
I couldn’t put this one down. It was heartwarming, smart and horrifying in all the right places. The ending will haunt you and the characters (even the hardened prison guard Sargeant) will worm their way into your heart like a virus determined to turn you into the undead.
Uncommon to action-packed stories of the zombie genre, there is a lesson to be learned here. Highly recommended if you love scary reads or zombie lit — and even if you normally don’t, this one is worth the time.