The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R Carey

imageTitle: The Girl With All the Gifts

Author: M.R Carey

Published: January 14th, 2014

Rating: 4/5 stars


Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.


*Thanks to Hachette Book Group for the ARC review copy of this book via NetGalley*

I wasn’t expecting to read this book when I started it. Well I planned to read it, I just thought it would be entirely different. A monster in the guise of a little girl perhaps, I imagined that she wouldn’t know she was a monster (or superhuman thingie) but would have an extraordinary level of power that government officials would fear and wish to exploit. It was sort of like that, sort of, but much more powerful than I imagined it would be.

A group of people and one not so human person have to put aside their differences so that they can reach a safe haven. They were a largely diverse group of characters, young and old, dark and pale, crazy and reasonable. I enjoyed reading about all of them, though I think I may have hated Doctor more than I should have. Her character development did nothing to stop me from hating her and I just wanted to hide Melanie, the little girl, behind me and hiss at her aggressively. These were not cardboard characters to say the least, none of them were perfect and none flawed beyond recognition. They each believed in what they were doing, and that made them all the more powerful.

The plot was extraordinarily well paced, it never lost my interest or patience. There was a bit of a metaphor in there somewhere that still hasn’t left me behind, and grossed me out more than it should have. Actually the only thing I didn’t like about this book was the all too present scientific nature of it overall. This mostly bothered me because I didn’t know what all of the words meant, but I think that most people would have less trouble in that aspect than me. It’s a definite must for zombie fans everywhere.


The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows


Title: The Orphan Queen

Author: Jodi Meadows

Published: March 10, 2015

Rating: 5/5 stars (subject to change with full reading)


Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.
She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.


Although I may not have been aware that this was going to be an excerpt when I started it, I still ferociously enjoyed reading the twelve chapters offered. Wilhelmina was a perfect heroine for this story. Unlike so many before her, she has set her first priority to reclaiming her country instead of focusing on a boy. This is something I truly appreciate because although I enjoy reading romance, it sometimes has a bit too strong of a place in books defined firstly as fantasy. In “The Orphan Queen” everyone does a really good jog of remembering what their fighting for, and they have a tight knit group that helps to remin anyone who loses track. Among this group is Melanie, a particularly interesting character. Wil’s bestfriend, Melanie is either one of my favorites of the characters or the one I will end up liking the least. She’s very mysterious, kind and protective to Wil and the other orphans. So she comes off a bit like a mama bear at times, but it doesn’t seem like she’s entirely trustworthy at the point in the story at which my sample ended. (which of course just makes me more anxious to read the entire thing) The Black Knife is just the icing on the cake, but I won’t give away the little bit that I know about him. It’s more enjoyable to find that out for your self.

*A review copy of the first twelve chapters was provided on Edelweiss by Katherine Tegen Books.*