Review: Acceptance (Southern Reach #3) by Jeff VanderMeer

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It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril.

Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X--and who may have been corrupted by it?

In this last installment of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.


I am so glad that they made an Annihilation movie! I remember seeing the preview and thinking it looked interesting so I picked up the first book and fell in love. This series was so much fun. I love love loved it! I loved the first book and how clinical it was. How it was just the Biologist's field notebook and all of the super interesting, super creepy things we get to see in that story. Then the second book is like a dream. Our main character and the side characters are so strange and odd things are happening and he doesn't know what is going on any more than we do so we are learning with him. Then we have this book, Acceptance, which is back in Area X. I was super worried that this would be a letdown, that we would find out what happened to create this area and what is going on and it wouldn't be as good as the prior books. Only I got to the end and was so happy. I loved it. Now if you are looking for a nice neat ending where everything is explained and tied up in a nice little bow you won't get that. This is very much an open ending and you don't get all of your questions answered. Some of them yes, but not all, which I think works perfectly in this context. If it had a cut and dry ending I don't know that I would have enjoyed it as much. Really the title of this book says it all - you have to accept that there are some things that are unknown. That we cannot know no matter how much we try to understand.

In this chapter of the story we have three different points of view - the Lighthouse Keeper, the Director, and Control/Ghost Bird. I really enjoyed all of them and how they were woven together. They are all a bit odd, but they work in the story. I really love all the details we do learn in this chapter. How they are connected and what some of the things were that we saw in the first book. The ideas in this story are just so cool to me that I didn't want it to end. This was one of those stories that I couldn't wait to read, but once I started I kept trying to put it aside so it would last longer. One of those stories that I simultaneously wanted to read as fast as possible because it is so amazing, but also as slow as possible because I wanted it to last longer. It is hard to write a review for this book without giving anything away, but if you read the first two and enjoyed them you will probably enjoy this one as well. It was a wonderful ending to this trilogy and I loved every minute of it.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


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