Zombies with a Soul
If you loved the Walking Grey series, you’re bound to love this one. The premise and plot lines follow fairly closely, but where Grey Matters and Grey Knights are a zombie romance series, The Girl with All the Gifts, is more of a child/mentor zombie story. Both share great character development around an infected heroine who has the zombie-like urges, wields some physical and mental enhancements, but with the help of a few compassionate sympathizers remains self-aware enough to navigate the narrow grey area between the zombie whacking militants and the ravenous decaying hordes. The action scrambles agilely across zombie attacks and a lively quest through the post-apocalyptic world, juxtaposing the clinically, ruthless doctor with the kind and nurturing psychologist, but never overpowers the intricate weaving of the characters.
Evolving from the corpse, mechanically executing its voodoo-wielding master’s evil bidding, and even from the rogue mummy, resurrected and sucking the organs and life from unwary victims, the modern zombie symbolizes the mindless masses in a capitalistic society preying relentlessly and soullessly on the brains of the lucid few who refuse to be indoctrinated into automaton servitude. Where the traditional zombie book focuses on survival in the cannibalistic state, the new age zombie book, like The Girl with All the Gifts, tends to insert us inside the head and soul of the infected character. We get to see the terror of discovering the monster within and the fight to contain it. The fight is intriguing and what appeals to me is the underlying recognition that we all have culturally instilled perspectives and prejudices that we have to actively and consciously fight in order to live in harmony.
If you’re looking to do a little zombie soul searching, this one will definitely drag you in.