Melanie doesn't know what's outside the classroom and her cell. She doesn't know why she and the other children are strapped into wheelchairs by soldiers pointing guns at them, or what the teachers mean when they say there are no cities anymore. She's afraid of Dr. Caldwell, and when the doctor took two of the children away with her, they never came back. But as long as Melanie gets to have lessons with Miss Justineau, hearing stories and Greek myths, she can be happy.
But she can't be happy for long. Because the children in The Girl With All the Gifts are infected with a contagion that has decimated the human population, although they exhibit rare signs of intelligence not seen in adult victims. Miss Justineau thinks she can solve the mystery of these children by observing them and their learning patterns in the classroom. But Dr. Caldwell only wants to see what their brains can tell her - under a microscope - and she's coming for Melanie next.
The Girl With All the Gifts is part of a recent trend of zombie novels that go beyond the stereotypes of horror, with realistic characters struggling to survive in a world struck by catastrophe, a sophisticated scientific basis for the infection, and a glimpse into the minds of the victims themselves. Others include Mira Grant's Parasitology trilogy, and Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies was one of the first novels to make a zombie the narrator.
- Michelle (Sunset)