A lit. Agent told me that if Catcher in the Rye to be to come the end today, it would certainly be classified…

Christopher Conlon is a writer of fiction, nonfiction, and also poetry, and an editor. His very first book of verse, Gilbert and Garbo in Love, won the 2004 tranquility Corps writers Prize for best Poetry Book, while his Midnight top top Mourn Street was a finalist because that the Horror authors Association’s 2008 Bram Stoker award in the classification of 1st Novel. As an editor, Conlon winner the 2009 Stoker Award for Superior achievement in one Anthology because that his Richard Matheson tribute volume, He Is Legend, which is being reprinted through Tor in trade hardcover this September. Visit him digital at ChristopherConlon.com.

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The Gardener(Young Adult)by S.A. Bodeen (Tanzania 1989-90) Feiwel and also FriendsMay 2010233 pages$16.99

Reviewed through Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90)

WHAT IS “Young Adult” literature, anyway?

Many think of Young Adult books simply as novels because that kids, like the old “Juvenile” group some of united state oldsters remember from ours childhoods. But “Y.A.” is anywhere now — in fact, it’s the only real development genre in fiction publishing today. Media reports have it the the audience for Y.A. Novels currently stretches to world as old as 30 — and also with the harry Potter and also Twilight series, also that limitation is meaningless. Those stories have proven renowned with literally every ages.

So what’s “young” around the Young Adult designation? For the matter, what’s “adult” about it?

I am not a regular reader that Y.A. Novels, yet I’ve spend a few over the year — Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Stephen Baxter’s The H-Bomb Girl, Terry Pratchett’s Johnny and also the Bomb, Joyce Carol Oates’ Big Mouth and also Ugly Girl. Most recently, I review S.A. Bodeen’s The Gardener, one intriguing science fiction/horror story which help clarify both parts of the Young Adult tag.

The Gardener is the story that Mason, a disfigured teens (he to be mauled through a dog as a child) who has actually never well-known his father except as photo in a brief video the man created him prior to his loss long ago. His mom is one alcoholic single parent that works in a hospital ward which houses catatonic teenagers. At some point Mason visits his mommy at occupational and, ~ above a whim while mommy is away from she desk, theatre a video; at which time, one of the patients, a girl named Laila, unexpectedly wakes, pleading with Mason come take her away because “The Gardener is coming!” Why did the video wake her? that or what is the Gardener? and what is the true nature the Laila and all the other teenagers in the ward?

These room intriguing questions, and for the most part Bodeen does a fine, entertaining job of answering them. The novel is plainly geared to teenagers — both our main characters are the age, and also the story moves quickly from one event to another, nicely setup up one “innocent kids vs. Threatening adults” motif. The language that the book prevents vulgarities, there is no graphic violence or sex, and the story is told totally sequentially, do it straightforward for any type of competent young leader to follow. The underlying themes which ultimately emerge — an international warming, people hunger — room relevant and handled seriously.

In all, The Gardener is a fine and appropriate tale for teenagers, yet one that deserve to be appreciated by adults as well. And maybe that’s the mystery of the Y.A. Designation — no that the publications are necessarily for young world only, however that they can be read profitably by both the young human being and the adult.

Alas, I should report two significant reservations i have around The Gardener. First, the publisher has done the author no favors by giving a dust jacket v artwork showing a half-plant, half-human figure, finish with the tagline: “This greenhouse…grows humans.” That gives away far too lot of the story, and also will frustrate readers that would prefer the revelations of The Gardener to arrive at their own pace.

Secondly: I hate to have to say this, yet for every the thrills that the story, I had the identity of the mysterious “Gardener” pegged end a hundreds pages before we got to the huge Revelation. Any kind of fan that Star battles will have the ability to do the same.

Still, despite a details level that predictability, The Gardener is a well-told story that should hold fans of science fiction and also horror, every little thing their ages, duly enthralled.

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