Friday, April 13, 2018

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

I think that compared to other series, I finished the Southern Reach series in the shortest amount of time. But that's a good thing because if the details of Annihilation and Authority were not still fresh in my mind, I doubt that I would understand much of Acceptance. And because of that, expect spoilers for the first two books in the series.

Acceptance picks up directly from where Authority stopped, with Ghost Bird, now revealed to be a clone of the biologist, and Control wandering around Area X. The chapters from their POV are interspersed with chapters from Saul, the lighthouse keeper before Area X was Area X, and Gloria, the director and little girl that used to live in Area X, as she tried to carry out her work. Each person told a different part of the story, but they all filled in one bigger puzzle.

Ghost Bird, Control, and Saul told their stories in third person, but Gloria told hers in second. I'm not too sure what was the effect - perhaps to make us feel closer to her? - but it wasn't unpleasant and I appreciated finding out a little more about Control's mother. I did prefer the third person POV chapters though, because they were a little easier to understand. Then again, perhaps that's why Gloria told her story in second person; it's a little unnerving and she is an unnerving person.

That said, answers are still scant. We do get to find out more about the origin of Area X and why Grace was so hostile to Control, as why as why the Director went on the expedition to Area X, but we don't receive any concrete answers as to why Area X exists or why Control's family is involved. Things are hinted at and I think a second reading might prove more illuminating, but I still have a lot of questions.

If you read as far as Authority, then you need to finish the series and read Acceptance. I feel that these three books are highly dependent on each other (except perhaps the Annihilation, if you're okay with uncertainty over the fate of the Biologist) and these books need to be read in close succession to each other if you want to understand what's going on. And now, I feel like I'm ready for the Netflix movie.


  1. I will definitely make a point to read these in quick succession. I'll be curious then to see how the movie turns out!

    1. I finally feel ready to watch the movie, I hope it doesn't disappoint!

      Hope you enjoy the books!


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