The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen
"Mason has never known his father, but longs to. All he has of him is a DVD of a man whose face is never seen, reading a children’s book. One day, on a whim, he plays the DVD for a group of comatose teens at the nursing home where his mother works. One of them, a beautiful girl, responds. Mason learns she is part of a horrible experiment intended to render teenagers into autotrophs—genetically engineered, self-sustaining life-forms who don’t need food or water to survive. And before he knows it, Mason is on the run with the girl, and wanted, dead or alive, by the mysterious mastermind of this gruesome plan, who is simply called the Gardener.
Will Mason be forced to destroy the thing he’s longed for most?"- summary from Amazon
This was an intriguing novel and had me turning pages very quickly. The premise is interesting and pretty original and I enjoyed reading a bit about the science behind it. Bodeen spends quite a bit of time explaining the process of taking the autotroph aspect and applying it to humans.
The book got a bit slow at times because the chase starts fairly early on, so there are parts where it's boring and not much happens. The mystery is unraveled slowly throughout most of the book, then a lot of things happen at the climax. But I really enjoyed the moral issues and arguments it brought up for both sides of this, and it makes for some interesting discussion.
The ending was a bit too tied up nicely for me (I know I said before I like things tied up nicely, but it depends on the book!) and seemed a bit out of place considering the rest of the novel.
The Gardener will be out in stores everywhere in hardcover on May 25!
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