While The Unfamiliar Garden by Benjamin Percy could certainly classify as a horror novel, I found it to be less scary and more of a science-fiction thriller.
In a futuristic society people are grown as nearly identical embryos & conditioned to remove strong desires. They take a drug called soma to keep them docile.
The novel has several twists which I thought were pretty clever. The ending leaves the reader, and Unit Four, in a philosophical conundrum.
This book has a lot going for it, police drama, corporate intrigue, murder, action, a new kind of tortured super-hero, and the effects on a small community.
Dr. Ryland Grace woke up on a space-ship with no idea why he’s there. His crew-mates are dead and the spaceship is millions of miles from home.
I really enjoyed four out of the five stories. One story was, for me, a little difficult to follow and somewhat convoluted, but overall it’s a very enjoyable book with great takes on time travel, as well as traveling between worlds.
It’s silly, insane, jumps around, and makes little sense especially if you read the first book. If you didn’t read Gideon the Ninth, I suggest you do, if you did – brush up on it before starting this one. The narration in this book is so unreliable that it doesn’t only alters what Harrow remembers, but attempts to alter what the reader remembers as well.
To my surprise, this techno-fiction book became, about half way in, a world spanning espionage and intrigue story. Everything is drive, of course, by this new technology that would set the world into a new age that everyone wants to get their hands on.
Andrew Dahl, an expert in alien religions and xenobiology gets assigned to the spaceship Intrepid along with four other new ensigns. The Intrepid is known for its unusual high rate of casualties among low ranking crew members.
While this book could be a standalone, I would highly recommend reading the first two. This novella would make a lot more sense, and would be much more enjoyable instead of reading it as a standalone book.