This week Kim reviews M.R.Carey’s The Hungry Plague series which is better known as The Girl with all the Gifts and The Boy on the Bridge. I have yet to read Boy on the Bridge but LOVED The Girl with all the Gifts. I awarded it 5 stars; In fact it made my Top 10 list in 2016. My review for it is here. I personally hope M.R. Carey continues with this series!
Books in the Series:
The Girl with all the Gifts
The Boy on the Bridge
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Review: 4 Stars
Description 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.
I will admit that this book really surprised me! I listened to it on audiobook and some of it in the dark on my bike while I worked out. Yeah, you definitely shouldn’t read this book in the dark! There are some super creepy parts that had me wishing that I could pedal faster to get away from the story! And I’m not a zombie person at all! I had no idea that’s what “hungries” were until I started describing them to my husband. I told him that they were zombie like creatures who fed on human flesh and had virtually no brain function at all. “Kim, that’s what zombies are!” Oh! Ok, then! This book is my introduction to zombies!!! Yay!!!
Considering the mindlessness of the hungries, this book was a thinker. There were many philosophical predicaments that I had a great time working through along with the characters. Melanie is a character that I had no problem liking. She’s smart and perky and optimistic. From the very beginning, I expected to hate Sergeant Parks . . . but I didn’t. Believe it or not, there was something about him that I really liked and he ended up as one of my very favorite characters! And Miss Justineau was someone I thought I understood but she surprised me several times throughout the story. Honestly, the hungries were the only reason I gave this book 4 stars . . . I really don’t like zombies, they’re scary!! I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good apocalyptic thriller. I bet even teens would enjoy this book.
There is also a movie which Jessica really enjoyed! Yes, there are differences in the film, but M.R. Carey wrote the screenplay and kept the ending faithful to the novel. It is recommended as well. You can buy it on Blu-Ray here:
Kim’s Review: 4 Stars
Description from Goodreads:
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.
I loved reading The Girl with All the Gifts, so picking up this book was a no brainer. I was able to get it from Audible and I was thrilled to find out that the same narrator was reading for both books. One thing that The Boy on the Bridge missed from the very beginning was the emotional connection to the characters. Sure, I liked Dr. Khan and hated Dr. Fornier, just like I was supposed to. I trusted Col. Carlyle and distrusted Lt. McQueen, just like I was supposed to. But it was more like I was being told, through the opinions of the other characters, whether to like or dislike a character. Thankfully, this got better as the book went along. By the time I got to the end of the book, I did feel a connection to several of the characters.
I also didn’t like how Carey almost undid the struggles and the scope of The Girl with All the Gifts in this book. It is a prequel, which is a very important thing to know. I wish I could elaborate more without giving away the story, but I can’t. So y’all will just have to read it! The second half of the book was definitely better than the first. The first was far too technical for me. There was a lot of science mixed with drama, that you would think wouldn’t exist in the face of a zombie apocalypse, and it dragged very slowly. However, the second half redeemed the book! All the emotions and philosophy and ethics were crammed in and I loved it! And I was in TEARS at the end of the book! It had such a beautiful ending! It was the perfect resolution to the “hungry saga.”
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who read The Girl with All the Gifts; I would suggest reading that before starting this book. Saying that, I would recommend the series to anyone who likes post-apocalyptic fiction. I think older teens would really enjoy this series as well.
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![Top]
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 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.[Top]