I’m only 80 pages into Robert Llewellyn’s sci-fi novel News from Gardenia and I’ve already decided to pledge toward the third in the trilogy because I’m enjoying the first book so much, I couldn’t bare the idea of reading the first two and not having the third available. News from Gardenia is the story of Gavin, an accidental time traveler, who winds up 200 years in the future where everything is perfect. Not a dystopia disguised as a utopia, but an actual utopia.
I was curious about News from Gardenia because I’m familiar with some of Robert Llewellyn’s TV and web work, and I love a good sci-fi novel, me. I’ve also read and enjoyed one of his non-fiction books, Sold Out. But not everybody who can write non-fiction can write fiction, especially sci-fi. It’s so easy to write a bad sci-fi novel, and I’m a real stickler for style. Despite character and plot, if I don’t like the way it’s written, I won’t enjoy it.
First page, I was already loving. God, this narrator sounds like me, I thought. He’s struggling with his marriage because he’s a work-a-holic and finds projects more interesting than people. On one hand, I do see the dramatic irony, but on the other hand, I am thinking, Yeah but he’s right. Leave him alone, let him work on his projects. I know I’m going to enjoy the book because I can relate to the protagonist so.
Full review of this book to come, after I’ve finished it.
A note on Unbound: Unbound is a crowd-funding service for authors looking to get their book self-published. There are different levels of prices and rewards, such as e-book, hard copy, audiobook, autographed copy, and invite to events. News from Gardenia and News from the Squares were published this way. Currently, the third in the series, News from the Clouds, is up for pledging. Feel free to pledge if you feel inspired. You don’t have to be located in the U.K. just because it’s a co.uk website and they list the prices in pounds. As of Jan. 16, 2014, the British pound is worth 1.63 US dollars, so do the math.