In a future ravaged by biotechnology, Rachel scavenges to survive, even raking the fur of the giant bear, Mord, that wreaks havoc in her ruined city. It’s amongst Mord’s stinking pelt that she discovers Borne, a small sea-anemone-like creature that soon grows to be much more than he seems.
I absolutely adored this book. I loved seeing the relationship between Borne and Rachel develop, and Borne’s growth into a vocal creature made for some really humorous but also profound exchanges between them both. Vandermeer nailed the complexity of Rachel’s relationship with her partner, Wick, too. I could sort of see where Borne’s story was going (without giving away too much, it’s all in the name…) but I didn’t enjoy the story any less because I still wanted to see how the narrative progressed to that point, and what would happen after. The slow-feeding of history surrounding the biotech and The Company was fascinating, and I would absolutely love a prequel to this novel that explored how the world came to be so damaged. The Magician was also an excellent villain; this omnipresent threat that you knew you should be afraid of, but you knew too little about to know why exactly you were afraid. I grew so attached to all of the characters and really didn’t want this book to end. I rarely re-read books but this may warrant a second go, and it’s made me want to pick up with the Southern Reach trilogy again!
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Read for the Magical Readathon, Divination exam.