I Wanna Be Literated #238

I Wanna Be Literated #238

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Acceptance (Southern Reach Series #3)
by Jeff VanderMeer

The Southern Reach series started out with quite a bang with Annihilation. It was equal parts creepy, compelling, engaging, and suspenseful. It was loaded with interesting characters trying to make sense of a strange situation. That book had me at hello. Then came authority which completely shifted perspective from the internal to the external. Some questions were answered but more were posed. I was a little hesitant about it, but remained on board, fully hoping Acceptance would be the one book to tie it all together. Jeff Vandermeer is going somewhere with this, right? It’s clear he had a thought-out path for this story, right?

Well, not quite. And that’s where it gets frustrating.

Honestly, I think we’re owed something as readers. At the very least, some answers about the things you’ve been trying to present as mysteries. It would be great if the things that have been kept in the dark came to light. No, I don’t mind the character backstory, but they don’t really help explain my main question about the Southern Reach Trilogy, which is WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AREA X!?

I just didn’t think this would be a David Lynchian story, full of strange things just for the sake of being strange. Even those are hit or miss, and Acceptance is kind of a miss. What IS clear is that the Southern Reach is kind of collapsing and there’s basically a power vacuum at play. What’s not explained is what exactly led to all this chaos. And honestly, that’s where Acceptance is at: we get an idea of how things are, but no explanation as to why they’re like that, no real thread tying everything together, no “ah-ha!” moment. So, I feel a bit cheated here. I stuck it out. I suspended by disbelief, but you gotta give me something here, man!

Acceptance keeps digging deeper into the story, but at this point I just want to come up for air.

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