Acceptance answers any lingering questions that the reader may have concerning Area X. I found it much more satisfying than the second entry. But, I don’t think that either the second or third book approached the brilliance of the first.
Beyond the revelations about Area X, this book also explains some of the relationships between characters. “Sometimes.. other people gave you their light, and could seem to flicker, to be hardly visible at all, if no one took care of them. Because they’d given you too much and had nothing left for themselves.” pg 60.
The reader discovers some major surprises. I won’t say anything else because… no spoilers!
Jeff VanderMeer’s descriptive passages are beautiful, something that all three books shared: “Soon after the storm, the trail they followed wound back to the sea along a slope of staggered hills running parallel to the water. The wet ground, the memory of those dark rivulets, made the newly seeded soil seem almost mirthful. Ahead lay the green outline of the island, illumined by the dark gold light of late afternoon.” pg 108.
And Area X is as mysterious as ever: “In the lengthening silence and solitude, Area X sometimes would reveal itself in unexpected ways.” pg 178. And also: “Never has a setting been so able to live without the souls traversing it.” pg 241.
I am glad that I took the time to read all three books. I think that VanderMeer’s entire concept of Area X is brilliant.
The series as a whole is strange but wonderful. Admittedly, the second book is the weakest and I barely made it through it. But, in hindsight, it fills in some blanks that contribute to the bigger picture.
Recommended for readers who like their science fiction with a large side of horror/suspense.
Thanks for reading!