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October 12, 2016

October Reading - The Girl With All the Gifts

by Alison DeLuca
cover of The Girl With All the Gifts
The Girl With all the Gifts by M.R. Carey is on my nightstand. As the nights get longer, I always think it’s time to look for some great reads that offer excitement and don’t hold back on thrills. October calls for stories with an edge, and this novel fits perfectly.

I bought this book with a clear conscience, since I already purchased my kid’s costume (Charmander) as well as a few bags of those Bats n Jacks pretzels. Plus I’m eyeing up treat recipes for our annual Trick or Treat party.

Last year I glued candy eyes on HoHo's with icing, so it doesn't take much. The kids went crazy for those things. 

No baking + happy children = WINNING

Side note – does anyone else remember those lame costumes we wore in the 1970s that included a mask and a plastic shirt? They had to print the name of the character on the crinkly shirt so people knew who you were (Fonzi, Luke Skywalker, or Farrah.)

Plus you couldn’t breathe through those masks, so halfway through the trick or treating, they morphed into hats.

Halloween illustration of pumpkins, bats, and a black cat
image courtesy of pixabay

Now costumes are far more intricate, but I still need good books. I heard a lot of buzz about The Girl With All the Gifts and picked it up in my local Target while I was shopping for back-to-school supplies. My crazy schedule wouldn't let me get to this book until now - and I'm glad I waited. It's perfect for fall, October, and Halloween.

It’s difficult to write too much about the plot without giving away major spoilers, although some people don’t worry about that. I’m looking at you, reviewers on Amazon. If you want the surprise, don’t read the reviews.

halloween jack-o-lantern and candles
image courtesy of publicdomainpictures,net

However, it won’t take long for clever readers to figure out what’s going on in the first chapter. The plot heats up quickly, ramped by figures like the Sergeant, Dr. Caldwell, Miss. Justineau, and Melanie – the Girl herself.

With spare and beautiful writing, M. R. Carey creates a horrifying and believable world. The author also writes for X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Gaiman’s Neverwhere. In fact, reading The Girl With All the Gifts is like reading a comic book. The scenes are bright, vivid, and terrifying.
black and white photo of children in 1940s halloween costumes
image courtesy of wikipedia

Carey doesn’t hold back on the gore, so keep that in mind. However, the blood is never gratuitous. Each scene moves the plot and characters forward. And did I mention the beautiful writing? It’s difficult to find a horror story with word-smithing like this:

“Melanie thinks: when your dreams come true, your true has moved. You've already stopped being the person who had the dreams, so it feels more like a weird echo of something that already happened to you a long time ago.”

If you love horror but insist on originality and great writing, The Girl With All the Gifts is worth sampling.

candles in Halloween holders
image courtesy of

Have a great Halloween – and do let me know in the comments what costumes and treats you’re planning for this month.

Buy The Girl With All the Gifts at Amazon

Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books.  She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.

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