The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey – A Book Review

The girl with all the gifts



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 is a very special girl.

Author: M. R. Carey

Publisher: Orbit

Series: The Girl With All The Gifts #1

Genre: Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic

Pages: 417

Release Date: 14/01/2014

My Chosen Format: Paperback

My Rating of ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon, Audible


This is one of those books that, if you go by covers … or by blurbs … chances are you won’t feel overly sold on the idea of buying the book. It gives so little away by either medium that I put myself off from reading it for ages. It wasn’t until I heard a few people talking about it and the general idea of what was going on between the pages that I decided to give it a try.

The basic gist of the storyline is that a parasite (the same one from the videogame series ‘The Last of Us’ if I’m not mistaken) has overcome humanity to the extent where there are only a few small pockets of civilisation left. Add that horrific backdrop to a desperate attempt to flee across country to a much-needed safe zone, and you have some cracking ingredients to make a thrilling novel.

This is one of those books that makes you feel for everyone involved. You want to hate certain people, but you can’t help but think that, rationally, their actions are making so much sense and, to an extent, are incredibly needed. So having a series of characters that you want to love/hate but can’t quite do either with is a nice new experience for me.

I loved everything about the setting but felt that a little more consistency might have aided this one in being a true ‘fight for survival feel’. The general rule is ‘the more built up and area, the more infected people there are’. Which gives you a great feeling of ‘oooh, going in there? This is going to get killy.’ only for that rule to be broken fairly quickly and the infected be somewhat sparse. They are there, but not as much as you’d feel they naturally should be. It almost feels like the author was saving them for specific plot points, which is good, but it came at the expense of my not being able to suspend my disbelief at certain points. For instance; they hunt by sound and motion pretty much. So when certain loud noises are made you’d expect them to come running, or for the characters attitudes to be less cavalier … but it’s not always the case.

That negative point aside, the novel is a fun, fast-paced read filled with plenty of moments that keep you invested in what happens to more than just the main characters. So it’s nice to see the spotlight shared across the whole group rather than just the most obvious one or two. I look forward to picking up the next book in the series (which I believe is a prequel).

I’d highly recommend this to anyone who likes a bit of apocalyptic goodness or anyone who has played and enjoyed the Last of Us video game and wants more parasites in their life.

21 thoughts on “The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey – A Book Review

    1. It turns out that I was apparently all for this kind of thing … the next book I picked up was about a similar infectious end of the world but set in America … at least I’m broadening my geographical scope if nothing else πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ˜€
        Books, broadening minds one parasite at a time!

        Wasn’t there a sequel to this, something about “The Boy….” with some pointless thingy for the rest of the title?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Boy on The Bridge. Apparently it’s a prequel. I intend to pick it up, but not for a while. After this, ‘Pandemic’ by A.G Riddle and ‘The Remaining’ by DJ Molles, I feel I’m infectious diseased out 😴

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ahhh, well, at least I got the “The Boy” part right. I feel like a champ for remembering even that.

        AG Riddle sounds familiar. I wonder where else I’ve that name….

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, somebody I follow must have reviewed one of his books, because I do recognize the name πŸ˜€

        Do you think you’ll try some more Riddle? Or leave it with what you’ve read?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Huh, I liked it to a point. I felt that ending was really far-fetched and killed off a lot of my enjoyment from the book. Still, it’s not bad – glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved The Last of Us. Was the first game I bought myself and played it after having quite a lit of drinks over 2019 new years eve. Great story. I watched the movie for Girl with all the gifts and liked it enough to maybe give the book a skip. Milou has it on the shelf though so i might try rhos out some time. Great review mate. Just saw BL put up some new titles for requestπŸ™ˆ

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You have caiphas? I was tempted on getting uriel ventris just for the third novel, but i own book 1 and two in physical so will try get that later. I only went for cain and the fabuis bile 3d novel as i own the first in physical. Weird they did not put up book two… still too far away to bother with indomitus

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a good amount of Ciaphas in paperback and I have the first 5 on Audible πŸ™ˆ

        Yea, don’t think I’m going to bother with Indomitus. I heard a few people say that it reads like a book that written purely as a cash cow because of the game.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yup, the first one is a prequel. I need to read it too, but I’ve been holding out. Don’t know why, lol.
    I really like Carey’s writing style (although I listened to the audio of this).

    Liked by 1 person

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