Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen

Mason is a high school sophomore who hopes to study biology at Stanford someday. His biology teacher, Mr. Hogan, encourages Mason to apply to TroDyn's summer science program. TroDyn is a huge research company located in Mason's hometown of Melby Falls and they pay the bills for just about everything in the town. Mason knows his mother doesn't want him to become involved with TroDyn but he just can't figure out exactly why. That is until he learns about her connection to TroDyn. When Mason attempts to confront  his mother at the TroDyn funded nursing home where she works,  he makes a remarkable but disturbing discovery about the patients she cares for. And it is his developing love for one of those patients that leads Mason to risk everything to try to help this beautiful girl. Even if this means confronting a terrifying person known as The Gardener at TroDyn. The Gardener explores issues that deal with bioethics and human experimentation. Most of the science mentioned in The Gardener is flawed. The overpopulation vs food production scenario has essentially been disproven. Paul Erlich's The Population Bomb has been proven to be a monumental flop since most of the Western world is now facing a demographic implosion and many developing countries such as China face the prospect of gender imbalance and not enough workers to support a drastically aging population.The Gardener considers the degree to which scientists might go to save mankind should such a scenario play out.

Despite this, The Gardener is a suspenseful science fiction that blends a little of mystery and romance too. Mason is a heroic character who is willing to risk everything to save Laila. We are left struggling to understand just what is wrong with her and Mason's loyalty to her only deepens the reader's affection for him. The novel weaves it's way to a satisfying conclusion.

Book Details:
The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen
Feiwel and Friends  2010

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