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In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus, Inc. One of these is Mendoza, the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change which will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of the Company.
Breathtakingly detailed and written with great aplomb, In the Garden of Iden is a contemporary classic of the science-fiction genre.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anna on 02-04-11
This Is A Wonderful Treat
I was utterly thrilled when I saw that the late Kage Baker's magnificent Company series had made it to Audible at last and I spent my last credit on this without thinking twice. And now I've listened to the recording I am even more thrilled - this is a wonderful treat. At first I was unsure about the bright tones of the narrator - so utterly unlike how I imagine everyone's favorite world-weary cyborg botanist Mendoza to sound - but after listening for a while I was won over. This book is read with great expressiveness, wit and charm, and the narrator gives the text its due. So many audiobooks seem to be read by automatons who appear to have never read the book prior to recording their narration and I am so glad that Kage Baker's work has been given to a narrator who cares about doing a good job.
And as for the book? If you don't know Kage Baker's Company series already I wish I was you so I could have the fun of reading these books for the first time all over again. In The Garden Of Iden is the beginning of one of the most inventive, intriguing series in SF - I honestly can't think of anything that beats it for breadth of vision. I don't want to give too much away, because figuring out what is going on is a lot of fun, but briefly: the main characters in this series are immortal cyborgs created from human children by a shadowy company that augments them, raises them, educates them, and sends them back in time to live and work though many thousands of years of human history (and prehistory!) collecting valuables for the Company and conducting research to create new valuables. Kage Baker had a true passion for history as well as speculative fiction and it shows. It's a joy to see the development of humanity through the eyes of her much put upon cyborgs. In this first book we meet Mendoza, a young cyborg taken by the Company from the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition who now finds herself on her first mission, collecting botanical samples in Tudor England.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
By Simone on 10-21-12
Such An Intriguing Premise!
I like Time Travel stories and have not been this excited about one since reading ‘Blackout’ & ‘All Clear’ by Connie Willis in 2010, and in fact I can tell you that I enjoyed ‘In the Garden of Iden’ much more than those because (bear with me) it seemed more believable. Connie Willis’ future seemed too mechanical to me – not “techy” enough to be realistic… and YES I realize how ludicrous that all sounds.
This book hooked me right form the start with its captivating premise that Time Travel was invented out of necessity to test if the invention of immortality was successful! So intriguing! I did not realize when I started reading that this was book one in a series of (I think about) 10 books; I’m keyed up that there is more to look forward to. In this book, our heroine goes back to Elizabethan England and falls in love with a “local mortal”. I won’t tell you more because I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
While I don’t care for romances and that element in this story kind of slowed things down for me, I can still easily rate it as a favourite because the idea held my interest throughout the whole book, plus there is the promise of so many more interesting things to come over the course of the entire series – I am crazy curious!
Having said that, I won’t rush off and read Book Two (Sky Coyote) right away, I want to spread it out a little more and take my time with the series. I don’t want to gobble them all up and once and get sick of them.
The narration was fantastic so I am really disappointed that the rest of the series is not available on Audible. Maybe one day… let's hope!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful