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Jeff VanderMeer’s ACCEPTANCE

In the final book we get a number of different perspectives. We start with the lighthouse keeper, Saul Evans, who we have learned previously is somehow intrinsically linked to the events leading up to the creation of what has become known as Area X. We also get the story of the former Director of The Southern Reach, who was replaced at the beginning of the second book. And we learn the fates of our first two narrators; The Biologist/Ghostbird and Control.

Unfortunately the finale lost me. The jumping around of perspectives watered down the moodiness and sense of dread that Jeff VanderMeer so carefully built-in the first two books. There were moments of abject wonder but the tone and foreboding fizzled out. After creating something seemingly unexplainable and slowly trying to explain it there were still more questions than answers by the end. I love an ending full of ambiguity but I felt more lost than when I started.

But maybe that was the point. VanderMeer’s trilogy had a great environmental theme running through it. The power of the environment to fight back and the various weapons it could deploy and the power it could harness; light, camouflage, adaptation, mutation, and the limited resources we have to actually fight back. But then other elements and possibilities were added to the mix which, for me, diluted what could have been a really great sci-fi trilogy.

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ISBN: 9780007553556 ISBN-10: 0007553552 Classification: Science fiction Format: Paperback (216mm x 135mm x mm) Pages: 352 Imprint: Fourth Estate Ltd Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publish Date: 2-Sep-2014 Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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