Brain Phrye

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Review: Girl With All The Gifts

The Zombie genre has been a bit, well, full the past number of years. But there are still some really interesting stories nestled in amongst the survivalist ammosexual fantasy crud this genre has descended into.

Happily this is one of them.

Reviewing this without giving bits away is hard. So I’ll say first off that I liked the book. It leaves you wondering what you’d do; whether the right decisions had been made. The central characters were well defined and interesting three-dimmensional people. And I can imagine a cottage industry of fanfic to cover the stories left untold in this book. Stories the author rightfully skipped, but others could make short vignettes in the post-apocalypic world the author has created.

For character depth, I was taken in by the growing depth of two of the characters who could have just been two-dimmensional cutouts. Well worn archetypes that play a role in advancing the plot; coming across as devices more than people.

Zombie stories can get bogged down in dwelling on what the new world is like, but this one only describes it as much as the story requires. In fact it’s the lack of knowledge about what the world is like that drives some parts of the story. The characters learn as they go and we the readers learn with them.

They can also get bogged down in backstory. And again the book does a good job of using backstory to flesh out characters (and even zombies at times) but only just enough to do that and no more. You get some questions answered, some motivations explained, but in the end are often left with a more questions. Questions you can build your own stories around and the author leaves you to it.