The Gardener - S.A. Bodeen
Will there ever be a day when the world runs out of food? What if the entire planet was facing starvation? Should scientists be trying anything and everything to find a solution to this possible problem? Some think they should.

The reader will know, just by looking at the cover, what the major plot of the story involves and that, paired with the very clear foreshadowing in the beginning chapters leaves no question. S.A. Bodeen, again, deals with controversial issues involving medical ethics like she did in THE COMPOUND.

Mason doesn’t know his father. The closest Mason has come to seeing his father is a video of him reading The Runaway Bunny, but even the video doesn’t show his father’s face – only his hands turning the pages of the book. The only visible, distinguishing mark is a blue butterfly tattoo on his father’s arm.

Mason’s uneventful life is transformed one night when he goes to confront his mother about the secrets she’s been keeping. His mother works at a nursing home so he is surprised to find she is taking care of four comatose teenagers. After his mother is called away for a meeting, Mason puts in the video of his father reading The Runaway Bunny. He was shocked when one of the teenagers started talking – a beautiful girl about his age. She is scared to death and feels the need to escape and Mason can’t stand the thought of abandoning her.

The events that follow lead Mason and the girl into unknown territory. She doesn’t remember much about where she came from or even her name. The only thing she knows is the intense fear she feels when she thinks about going back and seeing the Gardener, but when her health starts failing Mason has no choice but to take her back. What he discovers changes his life forever.

I was hoping THE GARDENER would be creepier than it was. It really had the potential to be….after all, the tag on the cover says, “This Greenhouse…Grows Humans.” Come on, doesn’t that sound creepy?

THE GARDENER is a fast-paced story and even though I wanted it to be scarier, it was still fun to read.