This has been, in general, a pretty goddamn good year for reading. I’ve been trying to aggressively diversify the authors I’m reading; my goal is that at the end of the year 75% of my books will have been by women and/or people of color, and so far just under half of the books I’ve read this year have been by authors that I’d not previously read anything by. So I’ve been doing a lot of “Let’s read this person’s best book!” so far this year, which leads to a lot of good books.
What I haven’t really had is a book that’s fucking blown me away to the point where I was recommending it to everyone I know. That only happens a few times a year, obviously. Well, I’ve got my first one for 2016, and it’s M.R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.
Carey isn’t quite a new author to me, as he’s got a long and storied history as a writer of comic books, but this is the first of his novels that I’ve read. And, to be honest, this is where reviewing it gets difficult, as it’s the type of book that I feel like you want to go into knowing as little as humanly possible about beforehand. There’s a movie coming; I happened to chance upon the trailer, which caught my interest immediately, and then saw two or three positive references to the book in the same day and ordered it immediately. I cannot wait to see this story on the big screen. Hunt down the trailer if you want to, but I’d prefer you just take my word on it and go in blind.
What can I tell you? Well, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS takes what has, lately, become somewhat of a worn-out genre and immediately makes it fresh again by putting a twist on it that as far as I can tell I haven’t seen anywhere at all. And the twist makes the setting horrific as hell; the book got under my skin immediately and stayed there, and I read the whole 400+ page novel in two or three big gulps, staying up later than I wanted to on more than one occasion because I couldn’t put it down. The book is fast-paced and action-packed, and once it gets its setting in place it doesn’t slow down for a second until the ending, which is as bleak and haunting and exactly what it needed to be as anything I’ve read in years. This is the type of book that could easily have been ruined by the wrong ending, so it’s good Carey found the right one.
So, yeah. I’m not going to tell you too much about this book, or why you should read it, other than it’s awesome and horrifying and you should take my damn word on it.
But you should. Because I say so. And it’ll be worth the surprises. Don’t even read the blurb on the back. Just go buy this and read it right now. It’s the best damn book I’ve read this year. Trust me.