Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: 25 May 2010
Format: Paperback (ARC)
S.A. Bodeen – Official Site
S.A. Bodeen – Blog
S.A. Bodeen – Twitter
Place(s) Traveled to: Melby Falls, Oregon and Portland, Oregon (with a stop by Powells Books)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen is billed a dystopian novel, but after having read it I’d say that is only partially so. The Gardener, for me, is more a pre-quel to a dystopian nation. It is a time in flux when things things can go either way. If people continue to do nothing than the ship will go to these manufactured humans, organic soldiers if you will and humanity as we know it will slowly cease to exist. But if enough attention is brought to the problems and to this drastic potential solution then maybe….just maybe…the tide can be turned and such drastic measures won’t need to be taken.
In all The Gardiner
is a novel about warning to those who live now to wake up and realize that we all need to work together to act before it becomes to late to do anything. Its a novel about hope. That through small actions, like saving one girl, can be enough to set off a chain reaction that can evoke large change. It would have been easy for Mason to do nothing. To have listened to his mother and walked away. But he didn’t do the easy thing, he made a hard choice and became a better person for it. We live in a world in which its easy to let others do the thinking for us. To listen to our parents, or our government, or to some religious extremist gunning for a cause. It can be much harder to stand up for yourself and to speak up against the majority for something that you believe in.
I found The Gardiner to be a thought provoking novel. When I stopped to think about its implications when I was done reading it scared me. To think that something like the experiments discussed in the book could really be going on – and I wouldn’t put it past any government/scientific organization to be doing similar research – its a terrifying thought. Reading The Gardiner you can see that if nothing is done in Mason’s world that a real and unpleasant dystopian society will eventually emerge. But all isn’t lost yet. There is Mason who knows the truth, there is his best friend who helps him and then there is the girl who started it all.
A small group yes. But small groups can make a huge difference. Look back at any revolution that the world has see and it almost always starts with a small group that lights the spark….who generates the idea….and who kicks off fight. The small spark that they start eventually becomes a roaring flame as other pick up the cause and before you know it a colony isn’t a colony but its own nation. Statues of oppressive government heads are toppled in town squares and a whole new world emerges.
I love the idea of The Gardener but there was just something about it that makes me hesitate to give it any more than a 3 star rating. I’m not sure what it is exactly, maybe its because some details were never fully explained. The ending is both a bit to sugary sweet and also inconclusive. I honestly can’t tell you but I can tell you that I found The Gardener to be a worthwhile read and it is one that I do recommend.