What Is ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ About?

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 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.

Our ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ Review

Written under the name M R Carey aka Mike Carey of comic book fame and the Felix Castor novels, The Girl with all the Gifts is a zombie novel with a difference. Her name is Melanie, a name chosen for her by Miss Justineau and she is a very special ten year old girl. Her life revolves around her cell, her classroom and the shower room. She listens to what goes on around her, discovering that outside the base is region 6, which is mostly clear but the base sends out burn patrols to clear away the ‘hungries’. Through a grey steel door each morning Sergeant and the teacher come down the corridor and head to the classroom for lessons. At first Melanie couldn’t speak but she’s a fast learner. Sergeant’s job is to escort the children to the classroom strapped into a wheelchair. Melanie wants the name Pandora, which means ‘the girl with all the gifts’ because of the story Miss Justineau tells her.

Poignant and moving, it is quickly clear that Melanie is a zombie who is being trained to behave normally. Written in a wonderfully tight style reminiscent of a child’s tone of voice, Carey has captured the fear and loneliness Melanie feels at her situation. Seen through Melanie’s eyes we are gradually told various facts about the future society following the zombie attacks; Birmingham has virtually no population and the Beacon is a safe area where she longs to live. She also knows that Miss Justineau is becoming too close to the children and Sergeant hates them. They are not human and are only kept alive to be studied. She also dislikes Dr Caldwell who comes occasionally and then children are taken and never brought back. Beautifully written and incredibly lyrical, this is the first zombie book I have ever read that is truly emotional and awe inspiring. Though mostly seen from Melanie’s point of view occasional chapters are written from the points of view of peripheral characters such as Miss Justineau and Dr Caldwell so we learn more about the army base, the tests and the new world they are living in. Perhaps the only bugbear about this novel is it’s similarity in part to the Last of Us game, as it uses a similar concept about fungus taking over people. However this is a minor issue in an otherwise perfect book, that Carey is currently scripting as a film.

Where Can You Order ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’?

You can order ‘The Girl With All The Gifts’ on Amazon.

About Theresa Derwin

Theresa was born and bred in Birmingham and her career has been pretty varied; from Warehouse Packer, then bar work, to being a crap waitress then swiftly into retail, Admin, Professional Student and dosser until finally entering the Civil Service in 1999. She left the Service in 2012 to pursue a career as a writer.Theresa writes humorous fiction including SF, Urban Fantasy & Horror. She has thirteen anthology acceptances behind her. She also writes a number of book reviews and at her site Her collection of short stories, Monsters Anonymous, was released from Anarchy Books Sept 12. She is Publishing Director for Fringeworks Ltd.She has loved horror, fantasy and SF all her life, thanks to her father who raised her on 50s Sci-Fi Universal Monsters, tango and popcorn. Her love of the bizarre, (including her Dad) remains constant, to this day. She also owes a great debt to Rog Peyton from the BSFG who introduced her to alternative fiction at the tender the age of 14.You can follow Theresa on Twitter @BarbarellaFem or find out more about her work at