Title : In the Garden of Iden
Stand Alone or Series : #1 in the Company Series
Three Words : science fiction, historical, romance
Red Flags : sex, violence, bad language (NSFC)
This entire book is narrated by Mendoza who explains “The Company” and how she came to be part of it. The Company, or Dr. Zeus, Inc., is a 24th century organization that has discovered the secrets to both time travel and immortality. They use this knowledge not to serve humanity but to become wealthy. They go back in time and make children immortal through a treatment that turns them into cyborgs. These children then gather objects from the past, hide them and live through the centuries until the 24th century at which time the Company “finds” these items and sells them for vast sums of money. Mendoza was rescued from the Spanish inquisition as a small child and turned into a cyborg. Her specialty is botany. When she emerges from her training fifteen years later, she is stationed in the garden of Sir Walter Iden to collect rare plant species. She travels with two other Company cyborgs, Joseph and Nefer. When she arrives in England at Iden’s estate, she meets his secretary – Nicholas Harpole. She is immediately attracted to him, he is intelligent and seems to be ahead of his time in his views. She sets out to seduce him believing it would be advantageous to the Company…she didn’t plan to have actual feelings for him. We follow her as she deals with the implications of being an immortal cyborg, being Spanish in an anti-Catholic England and being in love with an all too mortal questioning human.
My Take :
I’m not really sure what to write about this book. In some ways I really liked it, but in other ways it was a little boring. The underlying premise is so interesting and promising but honestly sometimes I was struggling to get through the book. When reading the description I really expected this to be a little more romantic than it was, but don’t let it fool you – this is hard core science fiction. Which is great, just not what I was expecting. I fully believe that how we receive books, movies, TV, really any entertainment has a lot to do with where we are in our lives and our expectations as much as the actual content. So…I did enjoy this and I would recommend it just maybe not wholeheartedly. I give it six shoes – ankle boots that I can’t seem to figure out what to wear with.
Anybody else read one of the Company books? What did you think?