Amy's Reviews > In the Garden of Iden

In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
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Jun 16, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: i-own, time, fiction, the-company, scifi, autographed, favorites
Read in July, 2001 , read count: 5

This is the most fabulous series in the entire world. I *adore* Mendoza. This book beautifully sets up the premise for all the Company books that follow.

That said, there's a lot of melodrama in this first book. If folks don't like this one, I usually urge them to try the second one, "Sky Coyote" anyways because each book has it's own tone. I'd hate for folks to be turned off from the entire series just because they didn't like the tone of the first book.

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ETA: I just my SIGNED 1ST EDITION copy in the mail last night. I am the happiest person on the face of the earth.

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ETA: 2016 reread: My litmus test for a book I truly love is how it makes me feel. Kage Baker was one of the rare authors who could combine not just plot and characters, but emotion as well. You can feel the author in the background the entire time. This story was something she experienced in her own life, and was able to translate it into fiction. No, I'm not saying she was a cyborg or she lived through the Spanish Inquisition, but there was a parallel experience she was able to use. And it was something she was able to make come alive through Mendoza. I carry Mendoza with me probably more than I realize. This first book in the series sets the tone for all the rest because here is where we discover Mendoza's life-defining moments. Surprisingly, it wasn't the Spanish Inquisition. Surprisingly, it wasn't her rescue from the dungeons or the surgeries that made her immortal. Surprisingly, it wasn't her education or training. Mendoza is who she is because she loved a boy and it ended badly. One must remember that this entire book is seen through Mendoza's eyes, post-Nicholas. She even interrupts her own narration with little snippets of, what is for the reader, foreshadowing, but for her, it's a bitter self-recrimination.

I think this paragraph summarizes the entire book: "Now that I come to write of what we did together, I have a peculiar reluctance to put pen to paper. Yes, this is definitely pain I feel. There is a locked door, you see, hinges red as blood with rust: it screams upon being opened and tries to close again, but through its narrow space I see the color green."

The reader can feel her reluctance in sharing her story on every page. Yet she's compelled to share it because she knows that the reader will never understand the rest of the series without it. She relives this glorious and horrible time as it is her duty to record the events that lead up to the series' culmination. She's doing it for us.

And it's a hard mix - Mendoza's subtle despair combined with this grand story arc. I mean, my god, immortal cyborgs! Living amongst us and quietly saving the best of our civilizations from our own destruction. It's a fascinating concept and the reader cannot look away. And that is the lovely twist - if you want to know more, you have to suffer along with Mendoza.
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Quotes Amy Liked

Kage Baker
“And as the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so was my beloved among the sons. Et cetera. What would I give, to have that night back, out of all my nights? No treasure fleet could hold it, what I'd give; no caravan of mules could carry it away.”
Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden

Kage Baker
“It wasn't all that different from any particularly demanding boarding school, except that of course nobody ever went home for the holidays and we had a lot of brain surgery.”
Kage Baker, In the Garden of Iden


Reading Progress

06/16 marked as: read

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