Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Gardener by SA Bodeen - Review

Mason had a routine. He petted the neighbor's dog every morning as he waited for the bus to school. But one day the dog attacked and tore at his face, and the damage was too close to the facial nerves for reconstructive surgery. That is when his Mom shows him the DVD of his missing father reading to him.

Fast forward ten years and Mason is trying to convince his Mom to let him enroll in a summer science program at the local large corporation called TroDyn. His Mom remains dead set against it. When he discovers she used to work there Mason heads to the nursing home where she now works to find out what she's not telling him and is saddened to see a group of comatose teenagers in the lounge. To calm himself down he plays the DVD of his father reading. How could he know this would awaken one of the teenagers? She opens her eyes and says, "Don't let the gardener find me." How could she know that Mason, being a large-framed football player with a scarred face spends his time trying to help people? Yes, he has a bona fide hero complex. Of course he will help her. They run and what a fast-paced all-action chase it becomes.

This is not as creepy as the cover leads you to believe - after all, it does say, "this greenhouse grows humans". But it raises so many questions: Will the food supply really run out? Is there anything we can do to change this scenario? What are we willing to sacrifice for the good of the planet? Do the ends justify the means? What do we owe future generations? Should we be able to force evolution? Bodeen brings up more questions than she answers, questions that don't fade as you turn the last page.

But take mt advice: skip the epilogue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering about this one. And I LOVED the COMPOUND. But what is it with epilogues (can we ever forget the dreadfulness that was HP7's epilogue)