Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

Acceptance is the third and final book in The Southern Reach trilogy and what a wild ride it’s been. We are introduced to Area X in Book 1 Annihilation, and follow an expedition to the unchartered territory of the unexplained terrain of Area X. Then in Book 2, Authority, we see more of the organisation behind the research and containment of Area X. 

In this final instalment, the two stories are pulled together as we delve into the past into the origins of Area X and the characters past and present who are affected by the unexplained phenomenon that occurred.

If you’ve yet to read any of The Southern Reach trilogy, then check out my reviews of the first two books as you really need to read both of them in order for the series to make sense.  I guess then, that this review is for seasoned readers of the Southern Reach so I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the trilogy as a whole. 

So there are good points and not-so-good points in this last book for me. Good points being that I loved the delving into the past; namely the life of lighthouse keeper and that of the former Director before and during her time at Central. It’s these glimpses of the past that make the action revealed in future make much more sense.  This book is like an onion; so many layers to be peeled away with more to be revealed. 

The bits with the more current characters were what started to lose me a little. Ghost Bird / the Biologist is intriguing but she was even more distant and so focused on the nature around her, despite all the other things to worry about (which I found kind of odd and distracting). The character of John / Control I never really warmed to in the second book so I ultimately found him annoying throughout this one. 

As much as I liked that the series came to a conclusion with lots of revelations, I still feel like I don’t really get it. I mean, are you supposed to know about Area X really? Did I miss something? For me there were more questions left unanswered than answered and I feel like I was expecting something more than there was. 

Now that’s not to say that I haven’t really enjoyed this series, because believe me I have. I think maybe I devoured the first book so rapidly, that after that amazing introduction, the rest of it kind of lost its momentum. If anyone has any input with their thoughts and theories about this trilogy, then please get in touch as I would love to know what you think. 

Overall, this book and trilogy as a whole has a unique voice telling an original story that you may love to get mystified by, or that may leave you more bemused than when you started!

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