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Monday, June 14, 2010

Book Review: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Title: The Gardener
Author: S.A. Bodeen
Publication Date: May 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Tags: sci-fi, friendship, family secrets
Age: 12+
Pages: 240
Series: no
Book Acquisition: Around the World Tours

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
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? 

My Review:
For some reason, I thought this was going to be a futuristic dystopian story. It's not futuristic and it's not dystpoian but I would venture to call it a pre-dystopian tale. It takes place in today's world and there hasn't been any devastating destruction but there are those who see disaster looming and they are preparing for the worst. After a life full of half truths from his mother, Mason finds himself right in the middle of these secret plans.

A quick and easy read for me, I really liked this one. I'm finding that I really respond to male protagonists lately and Mason was so easy to like. The story itself was a little odd - but not in a bad way. I couldn't really warm up to the 'beautiful girl', Laila, that Mason finds and tries to help. Mason's best friend Jack on the other hand, I really loved.

The plot is fast moving - with all the action taking place over a couple of days. The ideas put forth by TroDyn, the company that 'raised' Laila, are interesting to say the least. Humans becoming autotrophs? Not something I have come across before - but it makes for some great sci-fi.

I would recommend this one to fans of light science fiction who also enjoy a good mystery.


  1. I was also thinking futuristic and dystopian. Interesting that it's not that. Glad to hear you liked it, anyway.

  2. Defiantly one thats got a bit of a heavy plot, with really alluring characters, I love your take...great review.

  3. Oh, this one sounds great. I like the cover and I have seen it a couple of times, but never read the synopsis and a review until now. Thanks!

  4. Nice review Em, I enjoyed this one too :P

  5. I really liked this book! I agree with a lot of what you said, and you did a really nice job with the review :)

  6. I'm glad you liked it! I was pleased with this on and I find myself liking male protags more and more too. I think they're refreshing in the sea of estrogen.

  7. Interesting plot. Not big on science fiction but i think I'll add this on my TBR pile. Thanks for the review!


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