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In the Garden of Iden by Kage Baker

In the Garden of Iden (1997)

by Kage Baker

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Company (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,529507,767 (3.75)73
Poor Mendoza. She's not thrilled about being sent to Renaissance England. It's a cold, backward, unsafe country. Gray curtains of rain. The food crawling with bacteria. No flush toilets. She won't get to see Shakespeare either. He hasn't been born yet. The English hate the Spanish like smallpox, especially now with bulldog-faced Mary on the throne. But Mendoza is no longer a frightened little girl in the dungeons of the Inquisition; she's a Company-trained botanist and has an assignment - to save Ilex tormentosum, a species of holly that will go extinct in a hundred years. She must save it for Dr. Z and the twenty-fourth century. Kage Baker, in her first novel, tells the story of a spunky young cyborg who, though an immortal operative, falls for Master Nicholas Harpole, a mortal with pale blue eyes, good legs, and a smooth, rich tenor that hangs on the air like a violin.… (more)

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» See also 73 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
You don't expect genre overlap of science fiction, religious history, and romance, especially in a fairly short novel. Baker pulls it off, and I was moved by the doomed young lovers. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
3.5 stars ( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
The first of Kage Baker’s Company novels is part science fiction, part romance, part historical fiction, and part YA coming of age story. It follows the rescue of Mendoza, a young Spanish peasant girl, from the Inquisition through the completion of her first assignment as an immortal cyborg for the Company at the age of nineteen in Bloody Queen Mary’s England in the mid sixteenth century. Summarizing the plot would be a spoiler, but suffice it to say that Mendoza’s attitude about humanity is adversely affected by her experience as a doomed prisoner of the Inquisition, and she feels conflicted about her attraction to a mortal man she meets at a small English estate during her assignment there to preserve several plant species from extinction. Through Baker’s first person telling of Mendoza’s emotional and intellectual conflict, she explores big issues of religious faith, intolerance, and prejudice. But despite the focus on these dark aspects of human behavior, it carries an overall optimistic tone and mood. Yes, humans can be irrational, intolerant, and cruel but they can overcome these things--eventually. This overlying optimism and the story’s theme of eventual human betterment are what make this book most enjoyable to me. That said, I can see where some will not like it. This is not hard Sci-Fi, which focuses on technology, and not even typical soft Sci-Fi, which focuses on the “soft” sciences of psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc. A lot of the story is conveyed by the romance between Mendoza and the young man, Nicholas. If romance is an immediate turn off for you, as it seems to be for some Sci-Fi readers, you won’t like this book. Also, it comes down hard on religiously motivated intolerance, so if you think of the Spanish Inquisition as the good old days and long for its return, you won’t like it either. But for others, this is a good read and I recommend it. ( )
1 vote DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
For a GR TT group read, and because it's a modern classic that every SF fan 'should' read, I guess. ?I have read, and kinda enjoyed, a short story set in the universe.

For example, sending this teenager on a tricky mission like this for her first time in the field? Sure, it could be argued that she was just going to collect herbs, but honestly, passing as a Spaniard in England at that time had to have been known to be risky.

And I wasn't a fan of all the soft porn. Or the intrigue. And I wanted to get to know Joseph and Nef better. The radio and KZUS are a kick, though. And Nicholas is well-drawn in all his complexity.

And, yes, I wanted more Time Travel.?á" ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A really incredible book, possibly the best book in the Company series. Mendoza is saved from the dungeons of the Inquisition to become an immortal cyborg working for Dr.Zeus, a company that has harnassed both immortality and timetravel. For her first trip to "the field", she travels to Tudor England to rescue rare plants from extinction. Unfortunately for her, she falls utterly in love with a remarkable mortal man--who is devoutly Protestant when Queen Mary takes the throne. Mendoza observes the mortal world with both a teenager's verve and naivete and a genius immortal's knowledge. ( )
1 vote wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
In the Garden of Iden is Kage Baker's debut novel of "The Company." It's a science fiction novel set in the 1550s, during the reign in Britain of Queen Mary. Baker's fluid style is a joy to read and her transformation from "modern" English to Renaissance and back to modern is wonderful. This is a marvelous debut and I can't wait to read more in the series.
Right off, the title lets you know that this is a story about loss of innocence. If you're one of those people who are put off by obvious metaphors, don't let that stop you from reading this book. It manages to be quite funny and terrifying at the same time.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kage Bakerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blythe, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For my mother, Katherine Carmichael Baker,
and her mother, Kate Jeffreys Carmichael,
and for Athene Mihalakis,
a Gray-Eyed Goddess if ever there was one.
First words
I am a botanist. I will write down the story of my life as an exercise, to provide the illusion of conversation in this place where I am now alone. It will be a long story, because it was a long road that brought me here, and it led through blazing Spain and green, green England and ever so many centuries of Time.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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