agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Yesterday I read The Girl with All the Gifts all in one sitting and it was a very satisfying experience.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Girl_with_All_the_Gifts

It is the kind of book where the first page grips you and you are all the way to page 29 before you know it.

SPOILERS

This is a little bit Paperbag Princess:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paper_Bag_Princess
a little bit Riddley Walker:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddley_Walker
and a little bit The Ghost Sister:
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/ghostsister.htm

Melanie is a bright child in a peculiar educational situation.  As the story unfolds we find that Melanie is more than bright and the educational situation is more than peculiar.  Melanie is one of at least 22 children captured in the wild and held in a prison situation complete with restraints and guards with guns.  The children are exceptional, not least because they all learn to speak very quickly after capture.

This is like the Paperbag Princess because ultimately Melanie must save herself.

This is like Riddley Walker because we are introduced to this world by Melanie, who has never known anything else.  We find things out as she finds things out.  We make connections only a little bit before she does.

This is like The Ghost Sister because Melanie is a tranformed human whose intellect is periodically overwhelmed by biology that she can't control, and who ultimately chooses to defend her transformed state and those like herself against a doomed band of purifiers.  Also, at the end she is the guardian of the one lone unchanged human who has valuable knowledge the new people need.

I suspect there are holes in the story (like: what *did* happen to the first occupants of the lab), but I don't care because I am still in the glow of an excellent story read under perfect circumstances.

If you like any of the above stories, I think you will like The Girl with All the Gifts.

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agoodwinsmith

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