Has anyone read this very similar novel?

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#1 Edited by thatdudeguy (332 posts) -

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (Mike Carey's pen name, of Hellblazer and Felix Castor fame)

(I'll keep this spoiler-free aside from revealing a very early and obvious facet of the world.)

I just finished reading it moments ago and it is now my SF&F book of the year. It's thrilling and very, very dark. The similarities with The Last of Us begin with the catastrophe which has rocked the book's world: a fungal, pseudo-zombie infection.

As similarities in setting and themes mounted, I had to look up some dates to see if one could have inspired the other. Though the book only came out in 2014, its short story incarnation, Iphigenia in Aulis, was published in 2012. So it's unlikely that either source drew from the other.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy the game's world or Mike Carey's writing. The plots are wildly different, but The Girl With All the Gifts could have been a subversive DLC side-story set in the same universe. But please don't even glance at the plot synopsis if you decide to read it. It doesn't sell the book well and spoils the fantastic, creeping dread of the first third.

And if anyone else has read it, I'd love to hear your comparison between the two.

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#2 Posted by CornBREDX (7364 posts) -

The Last of Us is similar to most post apocalyptic stories. Most reference it's similarities (almost blatant rip off in parts) to The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

I guess it's those things that inspired it, but for me it came off too much like it was aping what's already been done so you'll have to excuse any problems you have with how I write this. I am not a big fan of the game.

I will however check out the book you mentioned. I feel almost obligated as I am a big Hellblazer fan. =)

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#3 Edited by ShaggE (9259 posts) -

Not surprising that two fungus zombie stories came out so closely to each other, what with cordyceps being a rallying point for the "ZAMBIE APACALAPSE IS CAMING" crowd.

Of course, as somebody who loved TLoU and was just as entrenched in zombiemania at its height as the people I just hypocritically made fun of seconds ago, that novel sounds like it's right up my alley.

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#4 Posted by dr_monocle (391 posts) -

Heh, I was hoping you were talking about this book when I read the thread title. I actually finished it about a month ago; it was a great read. As much as I love the little "twist" (for lack of a better term) of the beginning I think the ending is the real gem. The best way I can describe it is warmly terrifying.

But yeah. I'll also throw my recommendation in there. Definitely not something you wanna miss. It's also really well written. Each of the characters has a unique narrative style without the need for a blatant indicator as to who's POV is the focal point for the chapter.

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#5 Posted by thatdudeguy (332 posts) -

The Last of Us is similar to most post apocalyptic stories. Most reference it's similarities (almost blatant rip off in parts) to The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

That's a great point about The Road. I'm also a fan (survivor?) of that book and it does provide the framework for both this novel and the game. That (and the Cordyceps hype @shagge mentioned above) make the genesis of both much more understandable.

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#6 Edited by thatdudeguy (332 posts) -

Heh, I was hoping you were talking about this book when I read the thread title. I actually finished it about a month ago; it was a great read. As much as I love the little "twist" (for lack of a better term) of the beginning I think the ending is the real gem. The best way I can describe it is warmly terrifying.

Agreed. The ending is unique and stands in stark contrast to the end of The Last of Us. It even seemed preferable.

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