The Unfamiliar Garden

HarperAudio (The Comet Cycle, Bk. 2). Jan. 2022. 7:16 hrs. ISBN 9780358578451. $20.99. SF
Award-winning author and comic book writer Percy’s second book in “The Comet Cycle” series (after The Ninth Metal) is a mix of science fiction, thriller, and family drama, with a dash of horror. In the state of Washington after a meteor shower, young Mia, daughter of mycologist Jack and homicide detective Nora, goes missing in the woods during a mushroom-hunting excursion with her dad. Fast-forward five years—a massive drought caused by effects of the meteor shower has just ended, and fungi are springing up all over. Jack discovers a parasitic fungus, Nora is investigating ritualistic murders, and they are brought together as light is shed on the government’s role in experiments over the past five years. Narration was provided by two experienced voice actors; Mela Lee’s narration was amazing and helped keep the story’s scary atmosphere, while Will Colyer’s was also robust.
VERDICT Although the plot was less than compelling and the characters flawed and unlikable, the story’s premise was distinctive and will be of interest to fans of science fiction.
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