Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Gardener by S. A. Bodeen

From the writer of The Compound....

When Mason accidentally helps a girl escape from the local nursing home, he discovers that there is much more to the local science lab than just environmental sustainability experiments. After running from guards, doctors and psychic teenagers, will he discover what is really going on? Who is this girl and why was she catatonic in a nursing home? And who is the Gardner that she is so afraid of?

Okay, this is the kind of story you really should read in one sitting. Full of action and suspense, each chapter leaves you with a cliffhanger. And the characters are quite interesting, especially Mason. He isn't your typical teen to begin with, since he has a horrible facial scar from a dog attack when he was five. He's also very tall and athletically built, and has a superhero complex. But for the most part, he is shy, quiet, and modest, a boy whose main concerns are taking care of his depressed mother and how he will get into college.

Enter "the girl." For most of the book that is all we know her as. Silent, fey, and definitely damaged, she leads Mason into a world of lies and horror he was never suspecting. But she doesn't do it on purpose. She has no clear idea of who she is or where she came from; she just knows she has to get away.

The suspense was the main grabber of this book. The only downside was that occasionally it felt like there was too much science shoved into too small a space. To a point, it was neccessary, but it could get a bit dry at spots. Luckily, Bodeen keeps the action and horror moving along to counterbalance the hard science. I would be very curious to know if all of the science is good or just made up...

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