I enjoy an occasional foray into the science fiction realms, and when I saw the synopsis of Gardens of Earth (The Sundering Chronicles Book 1) by Mark Iles, I added it to my TBR. Here are my thoughts.
Synopsis (from the author):
Corporate greed supported by incompetent surveyors leads to the colonisation of a distant world, ominously dubbed ‘Halloween’, that turns out not to be uninhabited after all. The aliens, soon called Spooks by military units deployed to protect the colonists, can adopt the physical form of an opponent’s deepest fear and then use it to kill them. The colony is massacred and as retaliation the orbiting human navy nuke the planet. In revenge, the Spooks invade Earth.
In a last-minute attempt to avert the war, Seethan Bodell, a marine combat pilot sent home from the front with PTSD, is given a top-secret research spacecraft, and a mission to travel into the past along with his co-pilot and secret lover Rose, to prevent the original landing on Halloween and stop the war from ever happening. But the mission goes wrong, causing a tragedy later known as The Sundering, decimating the world and tearing reality, while Seethan’s ship is flung into the future. The Spooks win the war and claim ownership of Earth. He wakes, alone, in his ejector seat with no sign of either Rose or his vessel. When he realises that his technology no longer works, his desperation to find Rose becomes all the more urgent – her android body won’t survive long in this new Earth.
What I liked about Gardens of Earth:
There were many things I liked about Gardens of Earth. First, the relationship between Bodell and Rose, which defied the social convention, added a nice element. Second, the time shift and the causes and consequences of it, gave the story a great backdrop. Third, the Spooks’ revelations and the results of that made for an excellent ending (but no spoilers from me). If you enjoy scifi, a little time travel, and a touch of magic, Gardens of Earth fits the bill!
What I didn’t like about Gardens of Earth:
The only thing I had an issue with was the PTSD. I realize it is a difficult topic to write about, but it could have been explored a little bit deeper.
Overall impression of Gardens of Earth:
With good characters, a great story, time travel, aliens inhabiting Earth, and so much more, Gardens of Earth was an entertaining book. If you like scifi, give this one a try!