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The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey {3 Stars}

The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey (The Girl with all the Gifts #1)
Published by Orbit on June 19th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Horror, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-fi
Page Length: 460 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her "our little genius."

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 loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl with All the Gifts is a sensational thriller, perfect for fans of Stephen King, Justin Cronin, and Neil Gaiman.

3 Stars

PSA: Symbiont means organisms that live together, parasites ARE SYMBIONTS, when you say symbiote/symbiont you probably mean mutualist. Symbiote is a Spiderman villain, though some older biology works used it. Symbiont is definitely more correct. Please remember this.


  • Okay so I never realized that this book was about parasitic fungus that zombifies the host. Once I heard that, I decided that I had to read this book and hoped that I could take any scary aspects. It’s not actually scary or horror in my opinion. It’s hard science fiction that is just bluntly honest about the horrible things nature does!
  • Fun fact: I study these sorts of parasitism dynamics and it does make a wonderful basis for a zombie story. Generally the science was solid if you can accept a fungus host-switching from an ant to humans.
  • Everyone talks about the crazy surprise ending. I did not actually find the ending surprising at all because I’m so familiar with the actual system and therefore the ending seemed completely scientifically logical to me. Which is a good thing and probably won’t be the case for like anyone else ;-).


  • I didn’t particularly find the characters interesting and the science is super cool but not really discussed for much of the book. It’s just a post-apocalyptic survival story with a cool explanation for the apocalypse but it doesn’t seem like that’s actually a main focus of the plot for much of the first half. I actually DNF’d at page 170 and then was convinced to try just a bit more and did at least stop falling asleep while reading!
  • There are some places where the science is actually just stated wrong, which of course horribly bothers me.
  • Despite the ending being logical, the logic and evolutionary pressures behind it are never discussed, which seems like a huge missed opportunity to me.


Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey

© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I’ve always been curious about this book, but, like, not quite curious enough to read it lol. From what you said about the characters not being very interesting, I still can’t say I’m planning to give it a try. The science does sound cool though!
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