Tag: zombies

Standalone Sunday: Raising Stony Mayhall

Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads and this week I decided to join in! I’m not sure how often I will participate, but if I can I will.  The image above is hers that she is shares with others who participate.

What is Standalone Sunday?

Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten.  They can be just as great as book series!

Without further ado, here is my selection for Standalone Sunday:

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory

Book Description from Amazon:

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda—and he begins to move.

The family hides the child—whom they name Stony—rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret—until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run and he learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world.

Raising Stony Mayhall is a novel I read back in 2012.  This was at the beginning of the ‘zombie craze’ and I feel the novel does not get enough credit. It is a different kind of zombie novel.  The description of the novel is what piqued my curiosity and I gave it a try and was glad I did read it! The way it ends seems like it was going to have a sequel, but as far as I know one was not written.

I hope to re-read Raising Stony Mayhall in the future so I can properly review it.  If you enjoy zombie books, give it a try!

The Girl with all the Gifts

Author: M.R. Carey
Published: June 10, 2014
Dates Read: November 23- December 10, 2016

My Rating: 5 Stars

Book Summary from Goodreads:

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.

My Review:

My husband and I saw the movie trailer for The Girl with all the Gifts and after watching it we both want to see the movie and I also wanted to read the book. I was able to get the audiobook from my local library. If you have not seen the trailer for the movie or know anything about The Girl with all the Gifts then this will be a spoiler for you: This is a zombie book. Like Raising Stony Mayhall, The Girl with all the Gifts is a different take on zombies. I read that book several years ago and loved it. I also enjoyed The Girl with all the Gifts.

This is a tough book to review without revealing spoilers. It is also a thought provoking and character driven book. The premise of the book is intriguing and the first act of the book is brilliant. Melanie and her classmates are in school, but they are not just children. They are zombies, or ‘hungries’ as they are called in the post-apocalyptic United Kingdom. But they are also all special: for some reason they still have their mental abilities and have some control of themselves unless they get too close to ‘normal’ humans. Then they revert back to no mental awareness and only focus on one thing: Hunger.

The military base they are all on is attacked by hungries and junkers( uninfected humans who are scavengers and very dangerous). From here Melanie, her teacher, a scientist, and two military personnel end up traveling together as a group. The book does slow some, but we get points of view from all the characters involved in the book. There is zombie violence throughout the book.

I did listen to this in audiobook format and the narrator had a British accent, which works well, since the book takes place in the UK. At times I did have to move the CD track back some to listen again because I know I missed something. I will plan to read this book at some point.

You can’t help but get attached to Melanie. I had no idea what was going to happen to our group. Will they survive or will they all fall victim in some way? A particular character makes a decision that leads to a shocking ending, and this causes the reader to reflect on the entire book.

I give The Girl with all the Gifts 5 stars. I also look forward to seeing the movie. Knowing that M.R. Carey wrote the screenplay and kept the ending faithful to the book is even more exciting.

The Girl with all the Gifts is recommended.