Saturday, August 21, 2010

Book Review: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Mason lives with his mother in the shadow of the successful biomedical corporation TroDyn. One day, when Mason visits his mother at her nursing home job, Mason inadvertently awakens a comatose girl his age who insists she has to get away from “The Gardener” and seems frightened of TroDyn. Mason goes on the run with her and tries to help her figure out her past, not suspecting her past has something to do with his own.


There, I just tried to write a summary that doesn’t ruin the whole tension of the first part of the novel, like the official summary text and even the tagline on the freaking front of the book does. DO NOT read the official summary people – you will enjoy this book much more if you follow this advice.

Moving on…I really enjoyed the Mason’s characterization. After being attacked by a dog when he was five, half of Mason’s face is scarred. He’s football player big – a strong, silent type with a hero complex. He’s protective of his mother and takes to the “girl” immediately – not just because she’s hot, but also because she needs his help and doesn’t shrink from his scars.

TroDyn is also an interesting place, and it’s fun to uncover piece by piece just how fanatical they are about protecting people from the end of the world. And while most of the people at TroDyn’s motivations are clear, I never got a good read on what was up with the person who emerges as the main villain. It didn’t help that this villain has a serious case of “bumbling villain” disease.

THE GARDENER is available in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

My rating: 3 Zombie Chickens – Well-worth reading (especially if you DO NOT read the official summary. You have been warned.)


See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

16 comments:

Amanda said...

So you know what I mean now - how could they screw up this book by that cover and tagline and summary???? It was too well-written to be spoiled like that!

Trisha said...

I have to admit I rarely read the back cover. The front tagline is a bit more difficult to avoid, but I'm sure I can do it. Thanks for the advice.

Staci said...

Growing people...sounds very evil and twisted!

Carla said...

I've wanted to read this one for ages, but it does seem that people are not as taken with it as I thought they would be. And the synopsis can spoil the book? dont you just hate when they do that.

Darlene said...

This sounds intriguing. Yes sometimes you have to wonder if they know what summary means. lol.

Allie ~ Hist-Fic Chick said...

I can't stand it when synopses give away spoilers! I have stopped reading the backs/inside jackets of books altogether so that I don't ruin the plot for myself before I've even started the book.

But now FRONT TAGLINES are doing the same thing?! Sheesh! Those are pretty difficult to avoid reading since they're staring you right in the face. Gah!

Alexander Bennett said...

I so want to read this!

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

You crack me up. The offical summary reminds me of a movie I just saw a bit ago called The Island. Not only is the story similar, minus the young characters, but the summary made me not want to watch. It was the only thing new in the house and turned out to be a pretty good movie!

Patty said...

I am just plain afraid of this book...nice review, though...

Lenore said...

Gwen - I saw The Island and I actually really liked it. It's actually not that similar to this book though.

Steph Su said...

I love Mason's hero complex. :)

bermudaonion said...

Don't you hate it when they write a summary that totally gives the book away?

Zibilee said...

I have to admit being very curious about this book ever since hearing about it. It does sound like something I might like, so I am going to have to give it a go. Too bad about the villain though.

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

I want to read this one, but I remember it by Amanda's review, which also mentioned how the publisher spoiled the book on the cover! Bleh. Your review definitely makes me want to read it even more though!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Thanks for the warning!

Me said...

Read it.
its really good..
i think the thing at the begining is awesome it lured me. in.