The second novel in Percy's sci-fi series, The Comet Cycle, in which a passing comet has caused irreversible change to the growth of fungi, spawning a dangerous, invasive species in the Pacific Northwest that threatens to control the lives of humans and animals alike.
... a combination of Scott Smith’s The Ruins and Little Shop of Horrors, and readers who are already familiar with the signature brand of highbrow creepiness Percy showed in Red Moon and The Wilding will have a juicy anticipation of what’s coming ... This is hardly a boring book, even though its author virtually never denies himself wonky digressions ... The Unfamiliar Garden carries the freight of its nerdy passions very lightly, and always in the service of some genuinely touching human drama.
Percy’s latest is at times gross and poignant, occasionally in the same paragraph ... There are disgusting mutations and creepy scenes of violence, but the search for family and belonging motivates the protagonists. Briskly paced, The Unfamiliar Garden ties up the action quickly with an eye toward the trilogy’s finale. Recommended for fans of John Scalzi and Sylvain Neuvel.
Percy’s masterful second Comet Cycle genre-bender combines a missing-person case, romantic reconciliation, and a riveting sci-fi what-if imagining of a sentient fungi, spawned by debris from a passing comet, that symbiotically absorbs flora and fauna ... The juxtaposition of malignant military-industrial machinations and well-delineated human tension works wonderfully, and sci-fi fans will appreciate Percy’s extraterrestrial biological lore. It’s a thoroughly satisfying near-future glimpse of both disaster and salvation.