THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
Astute readers will pick up on the truth of Melanie’s situation very early on, but that doesn’t make the portrait Carey sketches in the first section of this fine, vivid novel any less skillfully drawn; once everything goes to hell and his considerably reduced cast goes on the run, he fleshes out his characters even more. In less capable hands, this could have been a stock story with stock types, but the people here, and their relationships, are so compelling that they elevate the story into something worth caring about.
All Melanie knows is her cell, the corridor, the classroom and the shower room. But she’s happy, most of the time, learning with her favorite teacher and dreaming of what she’ll do when she grows up. But in the post-Breakdown world, with most of humanity hiding from the “hungries” in Beacon and trying to find a cure, Melanie might never grow up. Especially if she ever finds out what she really is. (ORBIT, Jun., 416 pp., $25.00)