Blogmas Book Review – Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

GoodReads Summary:
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.
This conclusion was so unsatisfying. Check out my review here for my thoughts on the second book in this trilogy. I really hoped the story was going to get better with some epic conclusion.
Again I’m left with more questions than answers. The story just ended. The ends were not tied up. My questions were not all answered. (Some were answered but I was also left to ask other questions from those answers.)
I really thought I was going to love this because it alternates between the perspectives of all the characters that could have given me the answers I needed. But they didn’t do that. Some of them just disappeared and some left me with more stupid questions. I’m so frustrated about this.
This story really has potential but I was very disappointed. That is all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogmas Book Review – Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

GoodReads Summary:
After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X–a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization–has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.
John Rodríguez (aka “Control”) is the Southern Reach’s newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery, he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he’s pledged to serve.
In Authority, the second volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Area X’s most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring.
I found this series through my library. They have categories that I can search through and I found this one in books that were being turned into movies. I really enjoyed the first book, read my review HERE. So I expected to also like this book a lot.
You should never assume, so I don’t know why I’m surprised (probably because I didn’t read any GoodReads reviews before reading the book.) I thought maybe id get some answers to the many questions I was left with at the end of books one. Sadly, even by the last page of Authority, all I had was more questions that went unanswered. I’m going to continue the series because there’s one more book and I’d really like to get some answers.
We follow a different character than the first book, though we do see the biologist play a part in this book. We follow Control or John (he has a bunch of names apparently) who seems to be a pretty weird guy. He’s got a lot of personal issues with his mom and we learned about him and his life intermittently. The story goes back and forth between his past and present day.
The story was a little confusing at times because it jumped around so much, but also because Control’s thoughts were really complicated and confusing. I think this was because he was just presenting us with more questions instead of answering them. We learned a lot but nothing that was really solid or super super important.
Overall this story was a little weird to me. It was longer than the first book so it felt like it took me forever to read it when in reality it was only a few days. I’m interested to find the answers to all the questions I’m left with, so I’m going to start the third and final book now.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

GoodReads Summary:
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.
I realize as I’m writing this that I have been on a science fiction kick. With this book and the Themis Files and others that are up next on my TBR list. This was a book I found while I was browsing suggestions from my library on my ebook/audiobook library app. They have a list of books that are / will be made into movies and Annihilation was on that list. It sounded super interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.
I’m glad I did give it a try because I enjoyed it immensely. I read this ebook in two days. Lately, I’ve been reading much slower because I have a baby to take care of and I’m trying to make sure school is my priority before I let myself get lost in books. I’ve been super good about it too. But I let myself read at night when my baby wakes me up for feedings.
I almost had to stop reading last night while I was feeding because the story got a little bit spooky for me to be reading in the dark in the middle of the night. There were certainly some creepy parts and a few that just gave me the chills. The author did a great job of portraying how our narrator was feeling. I really enjoyed how this book was written. For this story, we’re reading the journal of a biologist that is venturing into Area X on the twelfth expedition. The only information we get is from this biologist, in her journal which is full of only what she learns or decides to share with us. I liked this, but it’s also frustrating because the reader is barely getting any of the big pictures, we only know as much as our narrator/main character knows (which isn’t all that much in this case).
The only thing I didn’t like was this lack of information. I liked the setup and how the story was told, I just wish that our narrator had learned more and had the supplies and opportunity to figure out more of the situation. The book ended and I still have many questions.
I liked the narrator. I really liked that we’re reading her journal because it feels like we’re really getting to know who she is. I know there are two more books but I think they are told from other perspectives. I’m hoping that we will meet the biologist once again in these later books.
This story was certainly mysterious and interesting. My questions kept me interested, wondering what the biologist was going to do/learn next. Overall, I liked the characters though we really only saw development from our narrator. I loved the idea behind the story. It’s creative and kept me wanting more. I’m excited to read the next book!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

WWW wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently reading Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer as an ebook. I’m also still in the middle of Air Awakens by Elise Kova. I’m listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Antonia- I’m about to finish Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. I always love her books and this has been no exception. Look for my review soon.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished listening to Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel. I also recently finished reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman. The book was not what I expected, but I’m excited to watch the show and see the differences.

Antonia- I recently finished Earth’s End by Elise Kova. It was amazing and you can read my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’d like to start Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. It’s sitting on my side table in my living room staring at me…Begging to be picked up and read. I will also likely listen to Truthwitch by Susan Dennard as my next audiobook. I’ve requested it from the library like three times and just haven’t had the time to listen to it yet.

Antonia- I just bought a few new books I’d been waiting for and Shelter in Place was one of them. Originally I’d planned to start with A Court of Frost and Starlight but as soon as my husband saw it he stole it and took it on vacation with him. So I’ll either continue with the Air Awakens series or start Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.