My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or t...moreMy rating: 5 of 5 stars I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Pandora [...] was a really amazing woman. All the gods had blessed her and given her gifts. That’s what her name means – ‘the girl with all the gifts’. So she was clever, and brave, and beautiful, and funny, and everything else you’d want to be. But she just had the one tiny fault, which was that she was very – and I mean very curious.”
Melanie is a curious little girl, much like Pandora was. She loves school, loves learning but loves her teacher Miss Justineau even more. She’s never seen the outside world, only her cell, the corridor, the shower room and the classroom which is located on an army base. Melanie is an incredibly intelligent little girl, capable of extremely high level classes for someone her age. Other than being near genius, she’s just a normal little girl, until she catches the scent of human flesh.
‘…the Breakdown, when the world filled with monsters who looked like people you knew and loved, and every living soul went scrambling and skittering for cover like mice when the cat wakes up...’
The normal hungries that roam the earth are your classic type zombie: they’re mindless and single-minded when it comes to obtaining their next meal. Melanie and her classmates are high-functioning zombies or “hungries” that are capable of speech and emotions, things the normal hungries are incapable of. These children have been captured for the sole purpose of experimentation, in hopes that they are the key to a possible cure for this terrible disease that has consumed the world.
There are many interesting aspects to this novel that I wouldn’t normally expect to find in a normal zombie-type book. First and foremost is the cognitive abilities of these children despite their undead status. It was an interesting aspect and leads to the next aspect: the ethics behind the experimenting on these coherent children even if it’s done for the good of the human race. The doctor conducting the experiments, Doctor Caldwell, has completely disconnected herself from the belief that what she is doing is wrong and successfully convinces you as a reader in the chapters told from her POV that it’s for the greater good. Switching to the chapters told from the POV of Miss Justineau offers you the opposite stance as she’s become attached to not only Melanie but the whole of her students even though she fully understands exactly what they are and the danger they represent. The perplexity of the situation their forced into isn’t simple nor straightforward.
The other aspect to this novel that is the main driving force is the relationship that develops between Melanie and Miss Justineau. Melanie has suffered through a life of solitary and Miss Justineau’s teachings are the shining beacon of hope that she always has to look forward to. In turn, Miss Justineau develops an affection for Melanie despite her best intentions to remain distant. The relationship was surprisingly heartfelt and touching.
Setting all the unexpected aspects aside, my favorite aspect of zombie novels is always the why and seeing what route each author takes. Zombie novels have become quite common these days and thus requires them to have an original aspect that hasn’t been done before. The Girl With All the Gifts does just that. The individuals in this novel are infected with Ophiocordyceps, a genus of fungi that actually exists in our world today but grows only on insects. I can’t express enough what a superb job M.R. Carey does at explaining the details of this fungus and how it came to be possible for it to infect humans. He goes into incredible detail yet explains it in such a skillful way as to avoid leaving us non-scientists completely clueless.
While The Girl With All the Gifts had many incredible facets to it, the ending was the most memorable. Shocking and unexpected yet such a fitting ending to this amazing story. Engaging, shocking and thrilling, The Girl With All the Gifts is one incredible read that thankfully manages to live up to all the hype.(less)
*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don't read if you haven't read the first installment!*
Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I...more*spoilers from Immortal Rules. Please don't read if you haven't read the first installment!*
Admittedly, Eternity Cure was not a planned read for me. I wasn't a big fan of Immortal Rules, I gave it 3 stars but it was a reluctant 3 stars because when I think back it was deserving of less because it was dreadfully dull at times and took me forever to get through. There was so much potential but it was severely lacking... in what? I can't quite put my finger on it but it could have been much better. The outpouring of immense love for Eternity Cure started rolling in and as soon as I read those magical words "even better than the first" I knew I had to give this one more chance. For those of you, like me, who weren't in complete love with Immortal Rules I suggest you check this installment out. It's not perfect but it's immensely more exciting.
The story picks up right where Immortal Rules left off: Allison has continued her quest to free Kanin after leaving Zeke and the rest of the human group in their new home, Eden. After teaming up to save their master, Jackal and Allison set aside their differences and join forces against the much imbalanced Sarren who has captured Kanin after a many years long grudge.
Jackal and Allison were quite the pair. Definitely entertaining, these two together really added some much needed humor to the story that made me love it infinitely more than the first. And I can't even begin to explain to you the excitement. This for me, was the best part of the whole thing. My biggest complaint about Immortal Rules was the parts that dragged on for far too long. With Eternity Cure, it was non-stop excitement and there was always something going on. This was truly an edge of your seat thriller and there were twists you will not see coming and turns that will leave your jaw on the ground.
The relationships... for me this was a huge flaw in Immortal Rules. I never quite understood Allison's need or desire to continue staying with the human party despite their ongoing terrible treatment towards her (despite even knowing she's a vampire) and her ongoing blood lust which made it extremely hard to travel with them. The relationship with Zeke was so touching and sweet and really made Allison's ongoing desire to remain human make complete and utter sense. To me, this is what truly sets this series apart from the rest of the 'typical' vampire stories. Allison has constantly struggled to retain her sense of humanity and still has a desire to remain a 'decent human being' minus all the feelings of entitlement like her brother Jackal has. She doesn't feel she's better in any ways to the humans and wishes to be like them but has no way of ever making this a reality. Her feelings were true and something that I could completely understand and empathize with.
Yeah, seriously. That ending?
I have to wait how long to find out what happens? Cliffhanger... yes. Mind blown... yes. Well worth it... definitely yes. This is one thrill-ride of an installment you won't want to miss.(less)
“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sani...more“And the most terrifying question of all may be just how much horror the human mind can stand and still maintain a wakeful, staring, unrelenting sanity.”
After Louis Creed gets hired on at The University of Maine, he moves his family from Chicago, Illinois to the small town of Ludlow, Maine. Their house is built on the edge of a distressing wilderness that their local neighbor, Jud, advises they never traverse which only manages to stir their curiosity. The months steadily fly by living in Ludlow until one day his daughters cat Church is killed and Jud decides to ‘help him’ by showing him the Pet Sematary. The one on the far side of the deadfall.
“You do it because it gets hold of you. You do it because that burial place is a secret place, and you want to share the secret… you make up reasons… they seem like good reasons… mostly you do it because you want to. Or because you have to.”
According to Stephen King, Pet Sematary is the most frightening book he’s ever written. And while it was frightening, it wasn’t exactly the type of horror I was expecting. The intended fright was also full of a paralyzing despair because it was regarding the loss of a loved one and the horrors that accompanies it. Throw in a supernatural flair and an ancient Indian burial ground that brings the dead back to (a form of) living and that’s Pet Sematary in a nutshell. The burial grounds and the unseen horrors that possessed an individual was what unsettled me the most though. Louis Creed was a perfectly rational individual yet the combination of loss and the influence of the burial grounds caused him to do irrational and horrible things. He became infected by an ancient evil.
“His plan kept unreeling in his mind. he looked at it from all angles, poked it, prodded it, looked for holes or soft places. And he felt that in truth he was walking along a narrow beam over a gulf of insanity. Madness was all around him, softly fluttering as the wings of night-hunting owls with great golden eyes: he was heading into madness.”
King’s stories of average people always end up transforming into something truly malevolent. Is that because of King’s devious imagination or is it a showcase of truth in how closely horror lurks waiting for its opportune moment to pounce and mutate even the most ordinary of lives? One thing I’ve learned is that there are most definitely worse things than dying.
“What you buy is what you own, and sooner or later what you own will come back to you.”(less)