What is a gift? Book review


I’ve always been fan of zombies… but I especially like the “unconventional” ones. I’m thinking of Fido or Black Sheep. And I have to say I haven’t read many zombie books before, just The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks, I think.

The September Monthly Motif Challenge was: Don’t Turn Out the Light! A horror novel! And I started researching early in the year. I wanted a horror audiobook. I don’t think I have read many things that actually scare me. I can only think of The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James, really. And I wanted to take this opportunity to get really scared, and what better than having someone creepily whispering into your ear?

I couldn’t find books that seemed enticing. All the lists of horror audiobooks I found had things that just didn’t catch my attention. So when September arrived and I hadn’t made my mind, I made a list with all the books I have gathered as interesting and compiled their Goodreads rating.

In the end I decided to go for The Girl with all the Gifts, by M. R. Carey. It is actually the first book of a series (that I probably won’t be reading). It tells the story of Melanie, a “little genius” who lives in a cell and is taken to class every morning strapped to wheelchair and with a gun pointed to her head. Melanie is a zombie (a “hungry”), but she doesn’t know. She’s a sweet girl avid for knowledge and love, and isn’t able to understand why the personnel that manage her is so scared of her and her classmates. Everyone but her favorite teacher, Miss Justineau.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but things go south very early in the book, and Melanie discovers her real place in the world.

I liked The Girl With All the Gifts very much. It’s a beautiful book. The first chapters are amazing, with all the descriptions of Melanie’s life and the post-apocalyptic reality. I still can’t point out what made me give it only 3 stars. It was well written, amazingly narrated by Finty Williams, the plot was very very original, the characters are deep enough… But it didn’t scare me. Not even a little bit. There are harrowing parts, of course. The mad doctor scenes, especially, the deaths. But I don’t know. I will watch the movie, though.

Do you like zombie movies/books? Has any zombie book actually scared you?


Melanie, una novela de zombis (uy, ¿no se quemaron las pestañas con ese título, editores?) fue mi elección para el reto de septiembre de Monthly Motif, que tenía que ser una novela de terror.

Tenía muchas ganas de asustarme, así que pensé en buscar un audiolibro, pero la verdad es que no encontré ninguno que me llamara la atención. Busqué listas y listas, comparé calificaciones en Goodreads, y la que finalmente decidí fue Melanie, una novela de zombis, de M. R Carey. Siempre me han gustado los zombis, especialmente las historias poco convencionales, así que esta novela dio en el clavo.

Me encantó el libro. La historia es buenísima, los personajes son increíbles, la narración de Finty Williams es extraordinaria, hasta la explicación “científica” es original y creíble. Es un libro hermoso. Pero no me asustó. Por supuesto que hay escenas terroríficas, especialmente las de la científica loca, las matanzas… pero no hubo ningún momento en que me diera miedo apagar la luz.