The Girl With All the Gifts
2 journalers for this copy...
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.
I have this on eReader and need to have a cull of physical books, so sending this one off to tie in with Send your current read RABCK ..... (just because)
Later: I really enjoyed this book, harrowing as it is. It's a deftly-handled blend of post-apocalyptic future/mutant-children/zombie-horde elements, with its core of characters presenting many facets; even the cruelest of them has sterling motives, and even the nicest of them is sometimes blinded by personal guilt, to the point of putting others at risk.
The story's mainly from the viewpoint of young Melanie, one of a group of children being studied to see why the virus/parasite/spore that has destroyed most of the world's population has not killed them. We soon learn that, despite the fact that they look and act like children, they also suffer from the overwhelming hunger for human flesh that is the main symptom of the plague; the steps taken by the military staff to restrain them seem draconian, but are definitely necessary. Their teacher, the only staff member who does treat them like children, seems to have a problem with boundaries; she knows what they're capable of but can't resist getting close, especially with Melanie, the brightest of the bunch. The doctor who's researching the disease by vivisecting selected children is painted as a villain early on, but her goal is to try to find a cure; it's one of the strong themes of the story that her researches, horrible as they appear, are meant for the best - and will result in a dramatic shift in perception by the end of the book.
The story changes from the life-in-the-bunker mode to handful-of-survivors-fleeing after a cleverly orchestrated "zerg rush" of "the hungries"; the camp is overrun, and the teacher, young Melanie, the doctor, the military leader, and one other soldier are the only ones to get away. The book - told from the viewpoints of each, with Melanie as the center - follows their experiences as they try to reach a place of shelter, at least long enough for the doctor's researches to bear fruit...
Lots of very grisly scenes, some truly heartwarming ones, an intriguing blend of characters who get to know each other in surprising ways as the journey continues. And this all leads to a conclusion that's bittersweet and yet feels very right. Excellent book!
[There's a TV Tropes page on the book, with some entertaining tidbits.]
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
[See other recent releases in NH here.]
*** Released for the 2018 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2018 The The release challenge. ***
*** Released for the 2018 Movie release challenge. ***