My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am reviewing Borne by Jeff VanderMeer. Here are my thoughts:
^^ Rachel’s a scavenger trying to survive in a destroyed world that is littered with biotech experiments the Company have discarded and nothing is ever what it seems. She meets Wick who makes his own way, by dealing with all sorts of things he finds, breaking them down and making the best use out of what he can. Then Rachel finds Borne, but instead of breaking him up and using him for parts, she keeps him. Not only does he start to talk, become a person and grow on her, he starts to grow – into something quite huge and alien. Yet despite his quirkiness Rachel and Borne become attached; like mother and child. What can become of such a relationship in a world where survival is everyone’s priority?
^^ Borne. How to explain Borne? He waffles between childlike and adult states as he finds his way around Rachel’s world. He can morph into objects and people, but without these disguises he forms a six-foot hybrid of a squid and a sea anemone with a ring of circling eyes. In short, he’s a fascinating, shape-shifting character, and one Rachel takes it upon herself to teach the ways of the world. One he is clearly not used to living in.
^^ Then there’s the giant grizzly God-Bear called Mord, the Magician, the poison rains, memory beetles, and the odd discarded biotech that could cause death or discomfort.
^^ I quite liked how this book is split into three parts, and each part/chapter has a sub title relating to the next part of the story.
^^ Underneath the surface of this post-apocalyptic tale of survival, there is something more. Something deeper. You’ll see it as you read through. Maybe the author is writing of a world not so alien after all. If you read in between the lines, is our society so different? Do we teach our children what is best, only to have them go their own way as soon as they have a mind of their own? If you look closer, there are so many similarities to modern life as we know it today. It’s a kind of charming, yet terrifying read all rolled into one.
^^ This is a great book for any fan of fantasy and science fiction set in a dystopian world, where technology and the supernatural intertwine.
Overall: VanderMeer’s dystopian world is a weird and wonderful mix creative strange characters, a fascinating mind and world-building skills. I’ve never read anything quite like it!
Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC copy.
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The other cover… I don’t like it as much, do you? What are your thoughts?