The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
Source: ARC from Feiwel and Friends
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
You have no idea how turned off I was about this book. There are very few books that can make me gag and The Gardener is perhaps one of those (un)lucky few.
The Gardener has a simplistic narration that ensnares you in quickly. I had only expected to make through half-way then hit the hay, but somehow time slipped through my fingers and the entire novel was complete in one sitting.
Bodeen used the idea of current dilemmas—global warning, the exponential growth in human population and linear growth of food, and the possibility of the next world war—and “cultivated” (heh I made a pun) into this inorganic piece of art. While the mystery of the novel is spoiled by the synopsis in the back there is still a slight twist that was thankfully unspoiled, but can be predicted—
Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?--from Amazon
The characters are a tad bit flat-line individually there lays a great deal of friendship, trust, and understanding that does not make it a problem. Instead it makes it a simplistic asset.
The Gardener is a great novel to pick up for thrill-seekers and sci-fi fans.