After viewing The Gardener's cover a few short weeks ago, I was so excited to get my hands on this novel. I was hoping for a great science fiction novel that possibly held a futuristic setting, or at least some type of futuristic element. Unfortunately, that is not exactly what I got.The Gardener was almost nothing like I had hoped. Although the premise sounded encouraging enough, most of the novel focuses more on a cat and mouse type chase than actually uncovering the hidden secrets of the Greenhouse. I must admit that I enjoyed the chase; however, I wish that the science fiction aspect had played a larger role in the overall novel. True, readers are given clues and hints throughout the novel about the Greenhouse and its secrets. But once the reader actually gets to the unveiling, it feels like it is almost too little, too late.As for the characters, they were pretty interesting. Mason is your basic "Look, damsel-in-distress... I must save her" kind of character. Yes, it was noble of him to risk so much for a girl that he barely knew. But sometimes, I wondered if his motives were more selfish or selfless. Either way, as a reader, I knew that his heart was in the right place. However, by far, my favorite character was Laila. Her secret past and the clues leading up to her identity held me glued to the book's pages.Although the science fiction aspect was lacking, the novel was still quite enjoyable. The Gardener would be a wonderful novel for those wanting to ease into this genre. But if you are a die-hard science fiction / futuristic lover, you may want to look elsewhere. The overall premise may intrigue you, but I fear that the amount of actual science fiction / futuristic elements may disappoint.