Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Providence [review]

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Providence by Caroline Kepnes
To be published by Lenny on June 19, 2018 
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.54 (as of 2018-06-07)
cw: animal death, ableism, domestic abuse, cancer

Spoiler-free Review
An advanced copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

From the acclaimed author of YOU comes a novel that is part love story, part detective story, and part supernatural thriller.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other and their intense connection. But just when Jon is ready to confess the depth of his feelings, he’s kidnapped by his substitute teacher, a discredited scientist who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

After four years in captivity, Jon finally escapes, only to discover that he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to Providence to protect Chloe while he searches for answers. Across town from Jon, Detective Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus is fascinated by a series of strange deaths–young, healthy people whose hearts just . . . stop. Convinced these deaths are a series of connected, vigilante killings, he jeopardizes his job and already strained marriage to uncover the truth. 

With heart, insight, and a keen eye on human frailty, Kepnes whisks us on a journey through New England and crashes these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, exploring the complex relationship between the powerful and the powerless, love and identity, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two

 

I requested this title on Netgalley mainly because I saw that the main characters were from New Hampshire. I always want to read books that take place at least in part in places that I’ve lived. The plot also looked interesting, so I gave it a shot. I’m really glad I did because this ended up being a very good read.

People who live to know a sicko are very eager to tell you their story. There’s a pride, a sense of having survived something.

Caroline Kepnes is a great writer. This is the first work of hers that I’ve read, but immediately after finishing this, I added You to my TBR. She does a fantastic job of pulling the reader right into the story and creates interesting characters that you can really relate to. I really liked both Claire and Jon, as well as the relationship between them and how it changed over time. I also loved the Lovecraft references. I haven’t read much Lovecraft myself, but am really drawn to Lovecraftian stories.

When I die, if there is a place called hell, I will go there.

I did think, however, that the characters could have been given a little more complexity. Jon and Claire are both overwhelmingly “good” people and don’t really have any flaws (at least, none that they can control). I also didn’t really enjoy the addition of Eggs into the story. I understood how he functioned as far as the plot went, but felt like he didn’t add much to the story as a character. Maybe it’s just because I didn’t like him. He was constantly lying to his wife and essentially pretended that his autistic son didn’t exist. By the end there is some redemption, but I still really don’t think he deserved to be treated so well.

I hit the road, New Hampshire bound, I’m a typical Rhodie in the sense that I think we’re the best. In Massachusetts, you have all these sweet-toothed Massholes stuffing their face with ice cream covered in jimmies, all puffed up with self-righteousness they get out of that little rock down in Plymouth. Never mind Maine; try being a woman in that state, let me know how it works out. Vermont has the worst Italian food I ever had in my life. And New Hampshire, all you gotta know is that they take pride in rocks, granite, tax-free shopping, and bottle rockets, their handles of grain alcohol so they can go home and light themselves on fire.

Otherwise, this was a fantastic read. I almost missed my train stop multiple times while reading and I kept getting so sucked in that I wasn’t sure how I could put the book down. I may end up grabbing a physical copy of this for myself, but at the very least I will certainly recommend this book to others. This will be good for fans of thrillers, contemporary sci-fi pieces, and/or the writings of Lovecraft.

I settle on a little pink dress but then I remember Carrig’s family, the wall of them, why are you so dressed up? That should be the state fucking slogan of New Hampshire.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Art of Escaping [review]

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The Art of Escaping by Erin Callahan
To be published by Amberjack Publishing on June 19, 2018
320 
pages.
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg: 
4.25 (as of 03/11/2018)
cw: statutory rape, ableism, homophobic slurs, alcoholism, depression

Spoiler-free Review of an eARC Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Seventeen-year-old Mattie is hiding her obsession with Harry Houdini and Dorothy Dietrich from everyone, including her best friend Stella. When Stella takes off to boarding school for the summer, all of Mattie’s anxieties bubble to the surface, leaving her feeling adrift. To distract herself, she seeks out Miyu, the reclusive daughter of a world-renowned escape artist whose life and career were snuffed out by a tragic plane crash.

With Miyu’s help, Mattie secretly transforms herself into a burgeoning escapologist and performance artist. Away from the curious eyes of her peers, she thrives in her new world of lock picking, straitjackets, and aquarium escapes. But when Will, a popular varsity athlete from her high school, discovers her act at an underground venue, she fears that her double life is about to be exposed. But instead of outing her, Will tells Mattie something he’s never told anyone before and the two of them find out that not all secrets can remain secret forever.

Told through the perspectives of the witty main characters, this funny and fresh debut explores the power of stage personas and secret spaces, and speaks to the uncanny ways in which friendships transform us.

This ended up being a relatively cute contemporary read that I worked my way through pretty quickly. The writing was good, the plot itself was very original, and the characters were well-developed. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it, and I think that’s because I didn’t feel invested enough in the story itself. At no point did I feel any concern that things wouldn’t turn out okay.

Maybe I’m just too distanced from high school now, but Mattie’s problems just… didn’t feel like real problems to me. She’s training to be an escapologist — a death-defying badass — but she’s terrified that people will find out and post something mean about her on LifeScape (this world’s version of Facebook). I feel like a story that focused more around her struggling through the training itself and less around her fears of exposure would have been more compelling for me.

There were actually more things (Mattie’s training aside) that didn’t feel fully fleshed out to me. Near the beginning, Mattie randomly has a nightmare about… LifeScape. This struck me as bizarre, but what struck me as more bizarre was that these (allegedly regular) nightmares didn’t come up again. Sure, her fear of being ridiculed on LifeScape came up a few more times, but it seemed more like an afterthought than anything else. I’m hoping this ends up more fully developed or pulled altogether from the finished copy.

The implication that Mattie’s secret double life and Will’s sexuality were on a similar level of potential life-destruction also made me uncomfortable. This is touched upon, but placing them side-by-side and making Mattie’s problems the main focus really felt to me like it was inadvertently minimizing the very real issue of coming out. I don’t think this was intentional by the author at all, but that was still the impact that I personally felt.

It also really caught me off guard and really upset me that Mattie is constantly disgusted by her brother’s inability to do anything when the narrative makes it clear that he is depressed and an alcoholic. To be fair, the author did note that the final copy clears up some ableist language, but I’m not sure how thoroughly this part of the plot was changed — the implication is that Mattie thinks she can inspire her brother to pull himself together, or something? When it seems like he really needs help and everyone is just… letting him languish.

Besides that, there were a few other things that made me cringe. Mattie sleeps with her older brother’s drunken friend — but she was 16 or 17 at the time, and he was in his mid-twenties. She also has hella “not like other girl” vibes. I think it’s fine to be different and quirky, but this treads dangerously on “I’m better than other girls because I do alternative things” territory. There are a couple other things, but mentioning them would be spoilers and I’m going to avoid that for now.

Overall, it was a fun, enjoyable read, but I worry about some of the content and hope things were cleaned up for the final copy.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

The Mid-Year Freakout Tag 2018

It’s that time of year again! We’re almost halfway through 2018 and it’s time to do a roundup of where we are in our reading adventure. I’ve cruised through 40 books so far (out of a goal of 75) and am unbelievably proud of myself. June is going well so far, and I hope to have a great second half of 2018.

Best book you’ve read so far.

I’m going to declare this a tie between A Head Full of Ghosts for fiction and Ask Me About My Uterus for non-fiction.

Best sequel so far.

Definitely Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!

New release you haven’t read but want to.

Where to begin! My top two are probably The Pisces and The Atrocities.

Most anticipated release in the second half of 2018.

Probably Wildcard by Marie Lu.

Biggest disappointment.

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. I was sooo looking forward to more Karen Russell and it was a letdown.

Biggest surprise.

Annihilation, which I expected to be good, but not to become one of my new favorite books.

Favorite new author.

Paul Tremblay or Jeff VanderMeer.

Newest fictional crush.

I don’t remember, they’re all so fleeting.

Newest favorite character.

Borne from Borne!

A book that made you cry.

I don’t really cry while reading, I don’t think anything has made me cry this year.

A book that made you happy.

Apparently I don’t read many happy books. Probably Emergency Contact.

Favorite book to movie adaptation.

Ummm, I honestly don’t know.

Favorite review.

This feels braggy, if it’s supposed to be mine. Also I really just don’t have one!

Most beautiful book bought/received.

Again, Ask Me About My Uterus. I adore that cover.

Books you need to read by the end of the year.

I don’t have a set list, besides ARCs.

 

Anyway, how are y’all feeling about this year? I think it’s been an ok first half of the year as far as reading quality goes, but I hope I find some more new favorites in the second half of this year! I’m not tagging anyone, but please do this if you’d like to. 🙂

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Bookworm Blogging, Not Books, Personal

200 Follower Giveaway!

200follows

I’m incredulous at the fact that I’ve finally hit 200 followers! I am so grateful to be part of this community and am so glad you’ve all chosen to join me on my blogging journey. To celebrate, I’ve decided to do a book giveaway! The prize will be any one book less than $20 on Book Depository. The giveaway is international, but only includes countries that Book Depository will ship to. In order to receive the prize, you have to be comfortable providing me with a shipping address.

There are several ways to enter! To earn entries you can follow me on twitter, tweet about the giveaway, and/or comment on this post. In order to officially enter, please use the rafflecopter information provided below. Good luck to everyone, and thank you again for your support! 🙂

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

Books I Should Have Read Already

I pulled this suggestion off of Vivatramp’s 100 Book Blog Post Ideas list. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I’m going to sift through my TBR and share which books I should have read already!


The New Jim Crow
Pretty self-explanatory. This book shares some really important information and as a white person I feel compelled to educate myself on racism and what I can do about it more than I currently do.

On Writing
Everyone raves about this book and insists that every aspiring writer needs to read it. I’m not sure whether or not I consider myself an aspiring writer, but I am trying to write and I do like Stephen King.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue
I bought this off Amazon MONTHS ago so I could read my own copy and I STILL haven’t picked it up yet. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Redwall
Hey y’all, how did I miss out on this one in my youth????

Blankets 
I’ve been eyeing this one for yeaaars and somehow still haven’t picked it up. It looks gorgeous, though.


What about y’all? What books do you think you should’ve gotten to by now?

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Horns [review]

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Horns by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow on March 1, 2010 (originally 2009)
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.92 (as of 2018-06-05)
cw: homophobia, racism, rape, pedophilia, torture, pretty much anything you could think of

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. 

 

Y’all I had NO idea what to expect going into this one. I got this as a gift in a recent exchange and had been meaning to read it for a while (I’m hoping to get through all of Joe Hill’s work within the next year or two). I hadn’t reread the blurb and hadn’t even seen the trailers for the movie, so didn’t really know what the plot would be, just that it involved, well, horns. Let me say right away that this book is not for the light-hearted. There are some… pretty messed up things going on. People do and say the most heinous things you can think of. So, keep that in mind if you’re thinking about picking this one up.

He threw the bible into the trumpet case as well. There had to be something in there, some useful tips for his situation, a homeopathic remedy you could apply when you came down with a bad case of the devil.

That said, this is incredibly well-written and compelling story about a man trying to solve the murder of the woman that he loves. He runs into a few snags — namely the fact that he’s the main suspect. Oh, and the horns growing out of his head. Which do come with a few side-effects that I don’t want to spoil for you. I liked how the story was layered, switching back and forth between past and present. In some books this ends up being jarring, but Joe Hill does it well here. He knew how to time it and used it to slowly bring the full story to light.

If you were in a boat and did not save a drowning man, you would burn in Hell for certain; yet God, in His wisdom, feels no need to use his power to save anyone from a single moment of suffering, and in spite of his inaction He is celebrated and revered. Show me the moral logic in it. You can’t. There is none. Only the devil operates with any reason, promising to punish those who wanted to make earth itself Hell for those who dare to love and feel.

If you’re a Joe Hill fan, you’ll probably like Horns. This was one I just couldn’t put down and I finished the last portion in a two-hour binge. I’d also recommend it for fans of horrors, thrillers, and mysteries, as it contains a little of each. The horror isn’t as much outright scary as it is unsettling, but I’d say that’s the most appropriate category to place it in.

She was innocent. All snakes were, of course.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

Shortest and Longest Books on my TBR

I decided to steal this from Destiny after I saw her post (inspired by Kathy, inspired by another blogger, such is the circle of life in bookblogging). This looked interesting, so I decided to do it too! Listed below are the 10 shortest books on my TBR and the 10 longest books on my TBR.

  1. A Monstrous Love: Two Halloween Romances by Magen Cubed. 17p.
  2. Wet Nails by Shira Glassman. 23p.
  3. Heaven or This by Topaz Winters. 28p.
  4. Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang. 44p.
  5. Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans. 44p.

6. A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters by Sam Sax. 46p.
7. Complimentary and Acute by Ella Lyons. 46p.
8. Throttle by Joe Hill and Stephen King. 47p.
9. New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood. 49p.
10. The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho. 51p.

  1. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. 884p.
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. 866p.
  3. Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4) by Christopher Paolini. 849p.
  4. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. 818p.
  5. Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany. 801p.

6. Behave by Robert M. Sapolsky. 790p.
7. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. 782p.
8. An Anarchist FAQ, Vol. 1 by Iain McKay. 748p.
9. History of Madness by Michel Foucault. 736p.
10. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. 729p.

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(Covers courtesy of Goodreads)

Bookworm Blogging, Monthly Wrap-Ups

May 2018 Wrap-Up

Books Read:

  • Quiet Rumours edited by Dark Star Collective. 5/5 stars, review.
  • St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. 2/5, review.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. 3/5, review.
  • The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison. 4/5 stars, review.
  • Borne by Jeff VanderMeer3/5 stars, review.
  • Unwifeable by Mandy Stadtmiller. 3/5 stars, review.

Books DNF’d:

  • Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao. I cared about the characters a lot, but the plot just wasn’t doing it for me and I felt like I was just sad for no reason.
  • Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist. Everything felt really rushed at the start and I wasn’t getting invested in the plot or the characters.
  • Never Stop Walking by Christina Rickardsson. Just wasn’t getting invested like I wanted to.
  • History of Violence by Édouard Louis. The writing style didn’t work well with me.
  • Asperger’s Children by Edith Sheffer. Unfortunately this was a lot more dry and dense than I was expecting and I couldn’t really get through it, even though the content seemed important.

Books read: 6
Books DNF’d: 5
Average Rating:  3.33 stars

Movies:

  • Gone Girl [2014] directed by David Fincher. 2/5 stars.
  • Mommy Dead and Dearest [2017] directed by Erin Lee Car. 4/5 stars.
  • Stardust [2007] directed by Matthew Vaughn. 2.5/5 stars.
  • Who Took Johnny [2014] directed by David Beilinson & Suki Hawley. 3/5 stars.

Other Posts:

Notable Posts By Others:

Reading Goal Progress:

In May, I read 6 books, which puts me at a total of 35 books for the year. I’m 5 books ahead of schedule and at 47% of my reading goal for the year. 🙂

Monthly Photo Dump:

 

 

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Unwifeable [review]

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Unwifeable by Mandy Stadtmiller
Published by Gallery Books on April 3, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.78 (as of 2018-05-29)
cw: alcoholism, drug use, sex, kink, statutory rape, incest, animal death

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

From the popular, “candid and bold, tender and tough” (Cheryl Strayed) dating columnist for New York magazine and the New York Post comes a whirlwind and “gutsy” (Courtney Love) memoir recounting countless failed romances and blackout nights, told with Mandy Stadtmiller’s unflinching candor and brilliant wit.

My story is not unique. Single girl comes to New York; New York eats her alive. But what does stand out is my discovery that you can essentially live a life that appears to be a textbook manual for everything one can do wrong to find love—and still find Mr. Right.

Mandy Stadtmiller came to Manhattan in 2005, newly divorced, thirty years old, with a job at the New York Post, ready to conquer the city and the industry in one fell swoop. Like a “real-life Carrie Bradshaw” (so called by Jenny McCarthy), she proceeded to chronicle her fearless attempts for nearly a decade in the Post, New York magazine, and xoJane.

But underneath the glitz and glamour of her new life, there is a darker side threatening to surface. She goes through countless failed high-profile hookups in the New York comedy and writing scene. There are soon too many nights she can’t remember, and the blind spots start to add up. She begins to realize that falling in love won’t fix her—she needs to fix herself first.

Unwifeable is a New York fairytale brought to life—Sex and the City on acid. With hysterical insight, unabashed sexuality, and unprecedented levels of raw, honest pain, Unwifeable is a “blisteringly candid” (Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout) book that you can’t help but respond and relate to—perfect for fans of Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler.

This was a really difficult read for me. It felt like rubbernecking, like witnessing someone else’s painful life-changing crash and not looking away even though you know you should. This memoir was unbelievably candidly honest, peeling back the layers none of us want to see. It was awkward and filled with secondhand embarrassment, it was graphic and showy, I had no idea how to feel about it and I honestly still don’t.

I never played games at all with men. Ever. Unless the game was to act like the kind of nightmare who hysterically cries at the drop of a hat and replies on a man for all manner of self-validation, self-worth, and approval to fill that giant gaping hole inside.

This memoir details Mandy’s life in New York City and her experiences with alcoholism — and addiction of all kinds. It details her relationships with men, most of which crash and burn. It’s hard for me to evaluate how to feel about this, because I know in general people tend to be much harder on women when it comes to being frank about raunchy behavior. The thing is, I just don’t love reading about raunchy behavior.

As an adult, I can have all the alcohol I want, anytime I want. Which, when you have no boundaries, is a dangerous combination.

It would feel more like someone’s life journey if it weren’t for the incessant name dropping. She lists maybe every celebrity she’s ever had an encounter with, and makes sure to emphasize the particularly unsavory encounters. This makes it feel more showy than anything else and it’s hard to take her accounts more seriously than a continued cry for attention. I don’t know Mandy and I’m not going to pretend to know anything about Mandy, but she talks a lot about how oversharing in her writing has done her so much harm in her past, and I guess it’s hard for me to understand how this isn’t just a continuation of that.

Is it fun? I don’t know. Is self-harm fun? You be the judge.

Regardless, this is a pretty worthwhile read. Mandy is an incredibly good writer, and it’s easy to cruise through this book — if you don’t have to keep putting it down every time a particularly embarrassing scene pops up. I think a lot of good topics are discussed, I just wish there had been more of an emphasis on recovery than detailing every dirty encounter she ever had.

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Borne [review]

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Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on April 25, 2017
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.91 (as of 2018-05-26)

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

In a ruined, nameless city of the future, a woman named Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names “Borne” entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Mord once prowled the corridors of the biotech organization known as the Company, which lies at the outskirts of the city, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly and broke free. Driven insane by his torture at the Company, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers like Rachel.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a Company discard. The Company, although severely damaged, is rumoured to still make creatures and send them to distant places that have not yet suffered Collapse.

Borne somehow reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment she resents; attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, the Balcony Cliffs, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick, not to render Borne down to raw genetic material for the drugs he sells—she cannot break that bond.

Wick is a special kind of supplier, because the drug dealers in the city don’t sell the usual things. They sell tiny creatures that can be swallowed or stuck in the ear, and that release powerful memories of other people’s happier times or pull out forgotten memories from the user’s own mind—or just produce beautiful visions that provide escape from the barren, craterous landscapes of the city.

Against his better judgment, out of affection for Rachel or perhaps some other impulse, Wick respects her decision. Rachel, meanwhile, despite her loyalty to Wick, knows he has kept secrets from her. Searching his apartment, she finds a burnt, unreadable journal titled “Mord,” a cryptic reference to the Magician (a rival drug dealer) and evidence that Wick has planned the layout of the Balcony Cliffs to match the blueprint of the Company building. What is he hiding? Why won’t he tell her about what happened when he worked for the Company?

I had started reading Borne for the Reddit /r/books book club. I had been intending to read it anyway, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I first read VanderMeer when I picked up Annihilation in January, and then Authority in March, and I really enjoyed his writing style. I was impressed by how he was able to pull readers into such bizarre environments and weave such strange tales.

The first half of the book went by pretty quickly for me. There wasn’t much of an introduction to the world itself and as a reader you found yourself thrust into it pretty quickly. It’s a confusing environment — decimated city, giant flying bear, you get the idea — and it’s difficult to orient yourself, but VanderMeer does a pretty good job of immersing you within it and revealing the context slowly.

The pacing was a bit off and I sort of lost interest in the second half of the book, which caused me to finish it a lot slower than I had intended. I became a bit too confused and it was hard to be invested in the story when I didn’t understand what was going on. I really didn’t understand the cause and effect of certain events, so I spent more time trying to figure out what had happened than I spent reacting to them emotionally.

The end pulled things together pretty well, but I had already been lost for long enough that it didn’t redeem things for me. I was disappointed because it didn’t really feel comparable to the first two thirds of the Southern Reach trilogy to me, but I think I also wasn’t in the mindspace to read this kind of book right now, so take that with a grain of salt.

I definitely recommend this for other lovers of VanderMeer and sci-fi lovers in general, but it just didn’t do it for me this time around.

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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)