Author: M.R. Carey
Published: 2014 by Orbit, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, a Hachette UK Company
Read: January 2015
Why it made it to the top of the pile: There was a lot of hype about this book, and I'd read an excerpt which had left me wanting more
Categories: Fiction, Dystopian
Full Disclosure: Purchased
Trivia Tidbit: The author wrote the screenplay at the same time as the novel
There are, of course, evil doctors, free-range revolutionaries and gung-ho military types in this tale, in addition to the kind-hearted teacher and the gruff-but-good-hearted soldier. The primary difference between this story and every other zombie story now filling shelves everywhere is that Melanie is sentient. When chaos erupts at the base and the typical rag-tag bunch of characters are thrown together on the run, Melanie tries to control her urges and to protect Miss Justineau in particular, who she sees as a mother-figure.
It was an interesting twist to observe events from Melanie's point of view, and the end had some surprises in store, but in many ways this is a typical zombie story, far from "the most original thriller you will read this year" touted on the cover. I was unsurprised to learn that the screenplay was written at the same time as the novel, as many aspects of the story are visual and will easily translate to the big screen. Ultimately, for me, the book did not live up to the promise of the excerpt or the cover blurb, but that is always a risk when you pick up a book - or watch a movie - touted as the next big thing.