The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really want to give this book a nice, solid slow clap. This book goes down like a really well-made plain cheesecake. When you take a bite, you get the flavors you expect, it is just what you had hoped for, but somehow it is also still so much BETTER. Start to finish, Carey really nailed this one. This book has so much of everything and Carey just did it right.
In essence, this is a zombie story. End of the world, post-apocalyptic zombies. In many ways we have heard this story multiple times before; good humans and bad humans and always the zombies. But nothing about this story is dull. The protagonist just isn’t who you think she is. In fact, no one quite is. The story line moves quickly and effectively. It provides all the necessary drama to, what I think, is the best part – the character reveals.
The book keeps you guessing a subtle way. The twists and subtle and believable. It all is works and I sincerely find myself in awe because of it. These kinds of stories often have gaping holes, but I think Carey really cinched this one up.
It can be a quick read, but I think it’s one that will stay with you. Well worth the read.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Let me first preface this review with this: it took me forever to read this book. It was really no fault of the book itself. Somehow this became my bed stand book that I only picked up in the few minutes that the hubster and I were getting ready for bed. Because of this, I don’t think it’s fair for me to say the book was “slow” or “uninteresting” or even “confusing” because any book that you only read 4 or 5 pages at a time with isn’t going to have time to catch your interest.
That being said, the first adjectives that come to mind when I think about this book is slow, uninteresting, and confusing. Maybe I’m just not fair.
But I love Atwood. She wow’d me with The Handmaid’s Tale but I truly fell in love with The Blind Assassin. The woman is a genius and even with my sludge-y read, by the end of this book I felt awed. She’s got this post-apocalyptic thing down. What starts off as something bizarre and strange pulls together into something that makes sense (in a horrifying, I wish-I-didn’t-understand-as-well-as-I-did kind of way). Still, even with that, the wrap-up of the book just wasn’t what I wanted to would find. I always do my best to keep out spoilers, so let’s just say I had hoped to get more from the characters we were promised we would meet. I wanted some good interaction but it wasn’t there.
I also have a huge qualm with trilogies that are trilogies just to be trilogies. I feel like the three books should stand alone. When you get the end you’ll realize that this doesn’t stand alone in the least. It could be the most heart-stopping cliff-hanger ending ever. Yes, even more than the season finale of season 4 of The X-Files.
So, at this point, I can’t say if it’s a pick-up or a put-down. I think the rest of the trilogy will tell. In truth, if this were by a different author I wouldn’t even go on, but I trust Atwood and I’m willing to make my way to the The Year of the Flood to see what happens.