This was one of those novels that I devoured in a day. Llewellyn captivated me from the first page. Gavin is a busy man and he has little time to reflect on his life and little time for his wife. An important man, a busy man. However, when a freak anomaly sees him transported two hundred years into the future he realises the world is a very different place to the one he left behind and time might be all he has.
Llewellyn has created a very different utopia within this novel. The lead character Gavin isn't good at human relationships, the only thing he truly understands is the complex and unemotional world of mechanical engineering. He finds himself in an England very different from our own. Power is free and universally available. There is no monetary system and no form of government. Like a giant commune people muck in and get along, strife is rare. Longevity is common and everyone is fit, healthy and strong.
Of course Gavin cannot accept this simple utopia and starts looking for flaws and cracks. Relationships and the family units are not the same as they once were and Gavin finds that he struggles to get to grips with it. Behind this society is technology beyond Gavin's wildest dreams and his engineer's senses twitch as he starts to delve deeper.
I understands News From Gardenia is to be a trilogy so the author spends a lot of time building up the framework of the world. Llewellyn expertly guides us along using Gavin's sense of exploration and wonder as the vehicle. As well as the outer journey we see Gavin's inner emotional development as he learns to relate to the strangely detached folk from the future.
An intelligent novel that can't help but make you think of our own immediate future and the energy crisis that looms large. A story that is as much about human nature as it is about fantastic technology. A gripping read from start to finish.
Genre: Sci-Fi / Utopian