News from the Squares
Gavin Meckler is trying to get back to the present, but something is amiss. He soon realises he has travelled sideways through time to another possible future, as unlike Gardenia as our own era. Arriving in a teeming megacity, Gavin discovers a highly technologically developed society in a vast urban landscape constructed around a seemingly endless series of squares dense with lush vegetation and trees. Much of what Gavin sees is recognisable. But there is one important difference. Here, women make up the majority of the global population and run the majority of institutions, including the vast and mysterious Institute of Mental Health where Gavin is required to live.
Reviewed on 28th October 2013
The sequel to Llewellyn's News from Gardenia follows Gavin Meckler's attempt to get home, which leaves him in yet another strange version of the world which he struggles to understand. The style is very reminiscent of the first book, though it explores some different ideas that I found even more interesting.
Like the previous book, it's very much about exploring the possible future that Llewellyn has imagined rather than about the characters or plot, though both feel stronger in this. The plot in particular is much grander and Gavin is a slightly more active character in what's happening, rather than just observing and learning.
While it's not a thrilling adventure, it certainly gives the reader plenty to think about and shows a quantity of character growth that was absent from the first book. It does however repeat the slightly rough feeling, as if it's not been edited or proof-read as thoroughly as it could have been.
An interesting read that's left me looking forward to the next book in the series. The texture of the hardback cover though was horrible on my fingertips, and I found it hard to hold onto the book for any length of time - I doubt this will bother most people though.