ACCEPTANCE, Book 3 in THE SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY. By Jeff VanderMeer
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, NY, 2014
If you haven’t read the entire Southern Reach Triology, you need to get on it. Now.
This is a series, especially this last book, that will spawn fandoms, fan fiction, movies, youtube discussions, and I’m sure will start to pepper advanced lit class syllabuses every where. Make sure all your friends and family read because you will want to talk about this story repeatedly and indepth.
This book is horror. It is dystopian science fiction. It is creative environmental journalism. Mostly it’s epic weird as only VanderMeer can deliver.
I’m a sucker for writing that pushes my understanding of story and language. VanderMeer does both in his deconstruction of what is Area X in this volume of the series. His change of point of view for character self-examination is brilliant. In this book especially, the terror (and terrior) is always just bubbling to the surface and you can’t help but shudder as you read. That bar scene, the scene with Whitby in the attic, the phone call with Control and The Voice, and the spooky owl that seemingly has human intelligence.
On page 314 of ACCEPTANCE, I swear VanderMeer knows what it is to be in the midst of a PTSD-trigger fest. I will never look at a darkness in the water again without wondering if its a leviathan, or descend in a cave and wonder if I’ll meet the moaning creature.
I’ve read each in the series twice and will likely start over again.
Now who wants to talk about this book with me?