After my rave review of last year for Seed Savers: Treasure, the first in the series, you might ask, why did I take so long to read this? The answer was quite simply too many other books getting in the way. After reviewing the two different Monster Hunter books earlier in the summer, I decided it was time to push through those series I wanted to read, and new ones were just going to have to wait.
So on a sunny Sunday in August I sat down for a pleasant afternoon reading in the garden on my new Kindle paperwhite, keeping the guinea pigs company (and an eye on Colman who has discovered how to undo the panels of the run). Lily was the ideal companion.
If you haven’t read the first in the series, you should do so first. There is gentle explanation here of the situation to date, but it is just SO much better to read them in sequence! Lily is missing her friends, and kicking around doing nothing much in her summer vacation except visiting her illegally planted seeds to see how they are faring. She makes a new friend in Rose, and like Lily, I was never sure how much she could be trusted, and whether she was a true friend or not. And then they start being followed by an annoying or incredibly interesting (depending on your point of view) boy aged about fourteen, who turns out to know a lot about growing plants – and eating them too. Very suspicious!
The plot twists like a climbing bean, throws shadows like the shadiest tomato plant and ripens like a true blueberry just when you least expect it! In many ways this second story is a transitional one, taking us through some necessary history and personal developments, on to what might be the denouement – but I’m beginning not to be sure whether all will be revealed in Heirloom, or whether there will be more in the series. This is no cliffhanger – it is a fully rounded story, satisfactory in its plot and characterisation, as well as threat and tension. The world is not only believable, but presages recent concerns over snooping through social media. Ms Smith has taken real-world concerns on limitations of personal freedom and taken them to a wholly logical conclusion.
Rise up, MG readers everywhere, and fight for your right to real food – and the right to grow it in your backyard, or balcony – and to tell your friends about it on the internet! Read the Seed Savers series, and beware!
I think I may have received a free ecopy from the author, but that in no way biased my review.