Review by Care.
This is a zombie book. A zombie book about a little girl, a caring, highly intelligent girl, who voraciously loves to learn, who desperately wants to please her beloved teacher, and who (whom?) you will soon realize, IS A ZOMBIE. Whaaaat?
It gets better.
M R Carey gives us enough time to get oriented to the strange post-zombie landscape he’s envisioned; there are regular zombies and then there are the zombies who still have the insatiable urge for eating humans, but are still intelligent. 10 year old Melanie is one of these and she seems pretty OK with the status quo, mostly probably because she gets to learn from her idol, Miss Justineau, a psychologist who is involved in trying to figure out why some zombies have intelligence and the rest are just “hungries” . We learn that there’s not too many people left, that the attempts to search for answers or cures have not been successful, and that of course what IS left of society is killing each other in gang wars, because that’s how you do.
This book is fast paced and nothing seems to be just for no reason. Even the “moping around in your room” chapters (of which there are a few) are bearable. I find that my eyes tend to glaze over and flick ahead whenever a character is introspective for too long, but these sojourns are only a couple pages long but still establish a lot. You get to see the mind and motivations of all the major characters and they’re actually believable and understandable. Melanie grows a lot during the story, in the process of figuring out what she is and what her place in the world is. As we near the later chapters there is tons of fast-paced action. In the end, you’re pretty OK with everything that happens, even though it’s kind of mind blowing.
The writing is great. M R Carey says a lot with few words which I really appreciate.
I loved this book and give it four paws up and twitching whiskers for really making you think about a number of different things.