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Borne ❴Reading❵ ➷ Borne Author Jeff VanderMeer – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk 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 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 RachelAt 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 CollapseBorne 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 bondWick 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 cityAgainst 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.

  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Borne
  • Jeff VanderMeer
  • English
  • 08 October 2016
  • 9780374115241

About the Author: Jeff VanderMeer

NYT bestselling writer Jeff VanderMeer has been called “the weird Thoreau” by the New Yorker for his engagement with ecological issues His most recent novel the national bestseller Borne received wide spread critical acclaim and his prior novels include the Southern Reach trilogy Annihilation Authority and Acceptance Annihilation won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards has been translat.



10 thoughts on “Borne

  1. Kevin Kelsey Kevin Kelsey says:

    Posted at Heradas ReviewVanderMeer’s writing is engaging difficult and worth the effort reuired to read It takes me a little longer to finish his novels than I feel like it should It’s the kind of writing that makes me a better reader It’s challenging and uncomfortable Something about his prose makes me have to go back and reread sentences to make sure I understood what was being said It reminds me of William Gibson’s writing in that way Of course VanderMeer and Gibson write in entirely different styles but I have to do the same thing with Gibson novels as well I kind of love it There is a lot going on in each sentence and I feel that it gives his novels tremendous reread valueOnto Borne specifically First off whoever designed this cover is brilliant Not only is it gorgeous and visually hard to pin down perfectly describing the character of Borne itself but there is also a glossy spot coat image printed across it that is entirely hidden until the light hits it just so I’ll leave the mystery of exactly what is revealed in the light intact for you to discover when you see it in person But it is a story element and it’s very clever Little touches like this really sell me on having physical copies of books over digital Bravo FSGAll of the VanderMeer story staples are here in full force Ruinous ecology strange bioluminescent life forgotten memories a misplaced sense of self identity life that might not be human animals that maybe used to be human a hint of something much larger happening on the periphery a creepy company meddling in things they shouldn’t and a perfect mix of mystery and resolution in the story All told through beautiful prose that itself lends an eerie literary landscape for the rich characters to inhabitThe most obvious comparison here is VanderMeer’s Area XSouthern Reach trilogy being his most recent work I can guarantee that if you enjoyed those novels you’re very much going to enjoy Borne Maybe even so I could even make a case that it is entirely possible and doesn’t take all that much head canon to connect Borne to the Southern Reach novels I’m really looking forward to the publication date to see what fellow readers think hereUnlike the Southern Reach trilogy — one story broken into three parts — Borne is a complete story in and of itself It’s also a literary universe I would not at all mind returning to in the future The story is told in a first person narrative and the reader is acknowledged to exist So it’s got that slightly post modern thing going on There are only a handful of characters only one of which I found slightly underdeveloped and they’re all uniue Nobody is one dimensional here The story itself deals with themes of nature versus nurture self identity parenting childhood survival and the different forms that love can take It’s violent disturbing endearing and uite a feat of imagination At some points it felt so vivid and alive that it somehow became visually stunning This is of course not a common description of a written work but it absolutely applies hereJeff VanderMeer is a literary author writing almost exclusively speculative fiction He’s at the center of that illusive Venn diagram containing Fantasy Science Fiction and Literary Fiction and belongs in whatever section of your bookshelf Octavia Butler Adam Johnson Ursula Le Guin Dexter Palmer and Gene Wolfe inhabit

  2. karen karen says:

    We all just want to be people and none of us know what that really meansoh jeff vandermeer to my shame i have yet to read the southern reach trilogy although i own all three and have owned them for a good long time now and while we’re on the subject of my many personal failings i actually own a TON of his books including three copies of city of saints and madmen in at least two different versions many of these are in storage right now after bedbug overreaction 2015 sent so many books off into limboville but they were here accessible for so many years without my getting around to reading them he’s an author i knew i would love just based on his reputation the reviews i’ve read both by and about him his tasteful curation of anthologies and other books he’s championedall of that to say that i can’t really tell you how this compares to his other books or if there is any connection between this one and the southern reach trilogy but i do know that i liked this one a lot as i knew i would that it was challenging a read than it appeared at first glance and that it took me much longer to read than i’d expected it takes place in an unnamed city after an ecological catastrophe where what remains of humanity struggles to stay alive in a ruined landscape revolving around the headuarters of a mysterious Company through which their leftover biotech roams; either genetically altered animals hybrids of creatures and tech or creatures once human transformed into monsters jury’s undecided threats include a japanese movie monster sized flying bear called mord a woman with advanced tech known as the magician and their acolytes the magician’s band of feral children with genetically modified inhuman accoutrements and the mord proxies normal sized humanoid bears as well as the unaffiliated clever foxen poison rain and assorted scavengers trying to acclimate to inhospitable conditions made dangerous through fear and the effects of alcohol minnows and mind altering beetle drugs in short many dangersthe central human characters are a couple the empathic rachel our narrator who remembers her life before in isolated fragments a submerged island a birthday party her parents’ protection but not what happened to them or how she got to the city her companion is the dour and secretive wick a former biotech engineer who worked for The Company who spends his days gloomily fiddling in a lab with a very icky pool reduced to the status of drug dealer and keeping secrets about his health and past the two of them have carved out a life for themselves in the relative safety of a crumbling apartment complex which the paranoid wick has safeguarded with baroue security measures allowing them the freedom to live undetected but vulnerable in this ‘wealth’ should anyone ever discover them the writing is in many ways capricious where so much of the big picture is left undefined the name of the city the nature of the disaster the generically named Company but those are just details the heft of this story is attached to the human drama or to the point the drama of the person and for all the unwritten details there are so many beautifully lyrical passages that make you wanna stop and reread ‘em Most nights now there was some kind of cacophony and a rawness and such a sense of covert movement So much noise out there and echoes of noise and a keening or growling or the sound of something or someone being killed That was the sound of a city that no longer believed in one ruler or one version of the futureand as many instances where the lede is buried in passages that seem less important than they are at first glancethe tone is also tricky to pin down but it’s admirably complex made up of a number of moods that should be contradictory but somehow all work together without clashing melancholy hopeful helpless brooding funny sentimental the real story begins when rachel on one of her scavenging missions discovers something unusual stuck to the sleeping mord’s fur something that appears plantlike and perhaps decorative but turns out to be borne whose presence in her life will change absolutely everythingwhat is borne? he’s well here is the author’s drawings of borne if that helps and he is initially described with one of those buried ledes as a hybrid of sea anemone and suid a sleek vase with rippling colors that strayed from purple toward deep blues and greens Four vertical ridges slid up the sides of its warm and pulsating skin The texture was as smooth as waterworn stone if a bit rubbery It smelled of beach reeds on lazy summer afternoons and beneath the sea salt of passionflowers Much later I realized it would have smelled different to someone else might even have appeared in a different formbut borne is malleable he changes size form shape and rachel soon discovers that he has the capacity to learn to move to communicate he’s appetite given form but his origins are shrouded in mystery along with his intentions his purpose his capabilities none of this prevents rachel from forming a bond with borne that’s somewhere in between maternal and whatever the adjective is that pertains to the relationship between a human and a pet or as rachel wonders What was the word for raising an orphaned intelligent creature? with that specific conditional pain of loving something you cannot fully understandcommunicate with but feel responsible for and love nonethelessI realized right then in that moment that I’d begun to love him Because he didn’t see the world like I saw the world He didn’t see the traps Because he made me rethink even simple words like disgusting or beautiful That was the moment I knew I’d decided to trade my safety for something else That was the momenthers is a selfless all encompassing love even when borne’s behavior is problematic ”Those are three dead skeletons on the wall Borne”“Yes Rachel I took them from the crossroads I thought they would look nice in here”wick is suspicious of borne’s presence in their lives which is warranted but rachel gives herself over to his care encouraging his education attempting socialization experiencing the full spectrum of motherhood in a highly concentrated timeframe proud when borne makes progress while feeling the pain his increasing independence from her leaves behindbut as borne changes and experiences of the world their relationship also changes becomes guarded as rachel begins to love and fear borne in eual measure wanting to protect borne from the world and protect the world from borne it may seem like i’m giving a lot away in this review but this is barely scratching the surface there’s so damn much that happens here and it’s a deceptive creeper of a book that sneaks up on you unexpectedlythere are some gorgeously gutting moments as the book skews darker rachel’s most precious memory of a childhood birthday where her parents presented her with a cake around which adorable biotech creatures danced is tainted by her experiences in this worldNor could I stop thinking of the perfect little biotech slaves that had paraded themselves around my special cake in the fancy restaurant In my mind they kept spiraling that cake for years as it decayed into black mold and then nothing and they had to keep trudging around that cake around and around singing until they died in mid step and their flesh rotted and then faded away revealing their sad delicate skeletonsWhich kept dancingand the descriptions are uietly devastating the detail of post apocalyptic tales that has always affected me the most is the idea of stoppage that nothing else will ever be produced everything that remains is a time capsuleamber relic of a past that many survivors never experienced this description of scavenging is hauntingBeyond the park I came across the exposed ground level of a skating rink or storage hangar and watched from the threshold as five scavengers sorted through a rich mélange of probably worthless debris They had a glowworm trapped in an hourglass to see by and when the sand ran out I assumed they’d move on Their uarry included filthy plastic bags filled with nothing old barrels boxes sagging from water damage and mold and a few piles of upended garbage that had been there long enough to have already been gone through and to have stopped stinking But each generation lowered its expectationsand since i had the added benefit of vandermeer’s post it notes one of which i had to chase into the middle of the road when it blew away before i’d had a chance to read it i might as well share a couple that made me smile according to many of the post its there is to come from this world and its characters and situations so be on the lookout for that and maybe now that i’ve broken the seal i’ll actually get around to reading them tl;dr with all apologies for the mess that is this review i’m trying to get my reviewing legs back but i’m all scattered in the brain all you need to know is that this is a uietly brutal but ultimately hopeful story of love and survival and the shifting definition of humanity in the face of extraordinary times also giant flying bear my THIRD uarterly literary fiction box from pagehabit this one is the most exciting one yetmaggie got very brad pitt about it what's in the booooooxxxx?? but she was pretty unenthusiastic once it was clearly not something delicious for cats me on the other hand i am VERY enthusiastic best day ever diving in NOWcome to my blog

  3. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    Holy crap on a cracker Mind blown Mel 🖤🐺❤️

  4. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    ”The closer I approached the Borne rose up through Mord’s fur became like a hybrid sea anemone and suid a sleep vase with rippling colors that strayed from purple toward deep blues and sea greens Four vertical ridges slid up the sides of its warm and pulsating skin The texture was as smooth as waterworn stone if a bit rubbery It smelled of beach reeds on lazy summer afternoons and beneath the sea salt of passionflowers Much later I realized it would have smelled different to someone else might even have appeared in a different form”The city has been reduced to rubble; conflict and drought have thinned out the population With desperate hope people turn to The Company to save them Science is the religion of hope and for a short time it looks like the mystical arts of biology chemistry and medicine are going to save the world but then the very things The Company develops to help stabilize civilization become the very things that crush the last vestiges of it Mord the bear who is the size of King Kong and his minions of bears seem to be everywhere searching to kill anything that isn’t one of them The Magician a woman of uncanny abilities is warring with Mord for control of the territory It seems creatures will even fight over rubble The area is full of biotech that is usually hazardous and sometimes even lethal so when Rachel plucks Borne from Mord’s fur she is taking a chance that this colorful vase like structure will turn out to be one of those death dealing gizmos She tells her companion Wick about it Wick doesn’t trust Borne He wants to open him up and use the nanotechnology to fix other things but Rachel is attached to this creature who eats every chance it gets but never poops “It” is growing exponentially Is it a living thing or is it a piece of sophisticated engineering? She teaches Borne to talk ”He was born but I had borne him”While you are considering all this have an alcohol minnow or threeWick and Rachel live in the Balcony Cliffs a haven away from the power struggle over the remains of the city Wick designs traps and levels of protection that will hopefully keep away intruders They are forced to the ground to scavenge There are always strange new things appearing ”Three dead astronauts had fallen to Earth and been planted like tulips buried to their rib cages then flopped over in their suits faceplates cracked open and curled into the dirt Lichen or mold spilled from their helmets Bones too My heart lurched trapped between hope and despair Someone had come to the city from far far away even perhaps from space Which meant there were people up there But they’d died here like everything died here”That lurch in Rachel’s heart is the same lurch I felt in my own I grew up in the space age and astronauts were my first heroes Whenever anything or anyone was launched into the air my family would gather around the TV set to watch the plume of jet fuel on fire and the rise of the tin can into space to search for what was out there to find To think of these astronauts lying there broken on the ground the scene so vividly written I wasshaken If our astronauts are dying truly the world is dying Borne continues to grow and learn so unnaturally uick that even Rachel has doubts about who or what he is and whether he will prove trustworthy Wick has secrets from Rachel Rachel has secrets from Wick Trust is hard to come by when the candle of life is a puddle of wax and the flame is flickering at the end of the taperAnd death is only a misstep away ”The bear had ceased its demolition of the wall The murderous eye held to the widening crack to pin us with its stare Bloodshot self aware taking our measure I couldn’t look away”I’ve been reading Jeff Vandermeer since his premiere novel Veniss Underground exploded my brain I can remember thinking as I read it that I had never read anything like this before His world building is one of his best strengths as a novelist and he certainly delivers in this novel as he has in every novel of his I’ve read His descriptions of strange creatures or devastated landscapes are so vivid that I don’t need an artist’s rendering It is as if I’ve gazed upon it with my own eyes His Southern Reach Trilogy is very accessible to the uninitiated reader but I also found Borne to be strange and wonderful and highly readable Enter a new world if you dareIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  5. Bradley Bradley says:

    Re read 61418It never ceases to astound me how much one day's blow me over imaginative fiction can suddenly be a warm and cozy blanket to carry me through a chilly night Or I should say an enormous bear hug to destroy whatever is left of a dystopian ravaged city to give my belly a good belly laughBut it does and strange is the new comfort food It may not be as great the second time because I knew what the reveals were going to be but I still enjoyed the sheer beauty of the imagination going on here So good And yes I still think this is a better even if accessible novel than the Area X ones Original ReviewThis is probably going to be one of those times where I rail against the universe and popularity norms because this novel is an exemplary piece of imaginative fiction that goes well above and beyond the call of any duty to amaze wonder and offer up a meal of monstrously epic proportionsFirst I should say that no matter how much I loved the weirdness and the atmosphere of VanderMeer's previous trilogy nothing uite prepared me for just how good this was going to be In fact if I didn't already have an ultimate favorite for the year's best SF already I'd be pushing this one to the fore But that's not going to stop me from nominating it for the Hugo mind you Why?It's deceptively simple and very engaging at first but as life and growth become a bit complicated as it always seems to get or when your lover starts getting jealous of your rescued intelligent abandoned biotech creature then you have to make a few decisions Add that to the fact that this whole world is a brilliant biopunk nightmare dystopia where most people have died and minnows are alcoholic and a gigantic bear eclipses the night dropping monsters and salvageable biotech down onto the broken city and we've got ourselves a recipe for a piece of imagination that will rival most books anywhere Add to this a very wonderful and generous dose of wit and charm delightful characterizations and dialogues between Rachael Wick and our loveable ubermonster Borne and I'm shot over the moon The devil is in the details of course and there are enough details for any fan of Geoff Ryman early Greg Bear and the recent Robert Jackson BennettSo what's my complaint again? The fact that I love this so much? No of course not it's the fact that it's WEIRDI love weird I love it to freaking death I live for weird And it's a weird that rides on the coattails of originality too I mean sure we've seen a lot of oddball and screwy read cute biotech monstrosities in the world of fiction from Heinlein to cartoon shows but few will do as smooth a job of turning an ubermonster into a delightful child to be raised who never needs to poop or pee and which focuses all its energies on what it means to be a person when there's no such thing left in this world At least of course until it all goes wrong or what that means to the rest of the city Rachel and Wick's relationship or the fact a series of godzilla like battles will rage across the worldPretty no?Yeah this is the good shit man This is the stuff I live for Now if only I could get everyone else in the world to see this my way

  6. Hannah Hannah says:

    ProsProseImagery Imagination World buildingBackstory ConsPacingI absolutely adored many things about this book but I think ultimately I admire Jeff VanderMeer's craft than I enjoyed reading it He has a brilliant way with words and the pictures he paints are vivid frightening sad and scary I enjoy the fact that he is not only clever but ultimately trusts the reader to be clever too He lets you fill in the blanks yourself he doesn't dumb down the story and he knows you will follow him wherever he will lead you I adore that in fiction The world Jeff VanderMeer has created here is plausible and fleshed out; the story told is believable and always grounded in what we know about the world even in its weirdest momentsThis is Rachel's story in a future after climate change and maybe other things have left the world in shambles she lives in a city in ruins that is dominated by a massive flying bear in one corner and a woman and her army of technologically modified children in another She has managed to carve out a small corner for herself and Wick her partnerloveronly connection to humanitynot somebody she really trusts when she finds Borne a plant like intelligent weird creature and builds a connection to him that will change everything about her already crumbling world Even though there are many things happening in this book it is at the same time slow moving contemplative and a meditation on what it means to be a person and a good one at that This pacing worked well for me in the beginning but the middle dragged on for me and it always felt like I wasn't making any headway while reading it It is not a particularly long book but some reason it felt like itUltimately for me my rating and enjoyment came down to one thing I usually enjoy books in a Aristotelean tradition than those written in a Brechtian way which is my pretentious way of saying I like my books to make me feel things Jeff VanderMeer leaves his readers or me at least that is at a distance the story is told in a very remote manner even though it is told in a first person narrative and I never got a emotional connection to Rachel or Borne or Wick However even with all the things that made this book difficult for me there are so many things that I adore and that made this uniue to read; I am still beyond impressed with this book and will surely read of Jeff VanderMeer's body of workEdit I have changed my rating because the book has stuck with me; the things that didn’t work for me faded and the genius stayedI received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Harper Collins UK Fourth Estate in exchange for an honest review Thanks for that

  7. Nnedi Nnedi says:

    Gloriously bizarre The world building is incredible Within the first night I started reading this I had nightmares There's an icky flying bear that is sort of a GMO cautionary tale The biotech is wicked heehee there's a pun in there but you have to read the book to get it This novel grows as you read it just like it's titular character Borne

  8. Adina Adina says:

    I’ve wanted to read VanderMeer for some time and my plan was to start with the Southern Reach trilogy his most known work up to date Then Borne came along and after consulting with GR friends I decided that the most recent novel would be the better place to start my incursion in the author’s oeuvre as it is a standalone story Borne has many of the usual dystopian elements a post apocalyptic world characters fighting for survival raw behavior feelings and a nostalgia for the former times extraordinary villains that try to take control of the chaos However there are aspects that were uniue to VanderMeer From what I read he has an incredible talent to create non human life forms with human emotions although their appearance is less so I will expand further on this subject later Moreover he put accent on the environmental destruction the novel being part of the so called eco fiction From The Southern Trilogy deals with the environment but the other way around nature overcomes humans The novel is set in the aftermath of an environmental biotech political bloodbath The city where the action takes place lives under the specter of The Company a bio tech facility who built myriads of bio engineered creatures some of them monsters that led to the partial destruction of their creator The most notable creation is Mord a gigantic flying bear once human who rules the city together with his smaller but eually frightening Bear proxies The city is severely polluted the river that crosses it is a “stew of heavy metals and oil and waste that generated a toxic mist” Even the people that still inhabit these harsh surroundings are altered one way or another in order to adapt and thrive The narrator of the story is a 28 years old woman Rachel who lives together with her lover Wick in an abandoned apartment building Rachel is a scavenger and a trap master whereas Wick former Company employee is an expert biotech and drug manufacturer dealer One day while scavenging on Mord’s huge fur Rachel encounters a strange object “dark purple and about the size of my fist” It looked like “a hybrid of sea anemone and suid a sleek vase with rippling colors that strayed from purple toward deep blues and greens Four vertical ridges slid up the sides of its warm and pulsating skin The texture was as smooth as waterworn stone if a bit rubbery It smelled of beach reeds on lazy summer afternoons and beneath the sea salt of passionflowers Much later I realized it would have smelled different to someone else might even have appeared in a different form” She decides to pluck it from the bear’s fur and take it home Although at first Borne acts like a plant she inexplicably founds him conforting and attaches to him refusing to hand it to Wick for experiments Borne grows larger every day and it becomes apparent that all the living creatures around him disappear Then at one point it starts to speak The evolution of Borne is similar to the growth of a human baby He as Rachel thinks of it starts to ask silly and uncomfortable uestions just like any toddler and child would He even grows to the teenager stage when he thinks he no longer needs his “mother ” and moves alone The only difference is that Borne does not look like a human being and is a hungry consumer of everything alive Borne is lovable sometimes naive or wants to be perceived like that and makes Rachel see the world in a different light like children manage to transform their parents The first time Rachel realizes she loves born was “Because he didn’t see the world like I saw the world He didn’t see the traps Because he made me rethink even simple words like disgusting or beautiful That was the moment I knew I’d decided to trade my safety for something else” Rachel becomes like a mother for Borne obvious even from the moment when she name him “he was born but I had borne him” and is shattered by doubts when she realizes that he might be dangerous for her and not only The world VanderMeer creates is full of interesting miraculous and scary creatures that defeat plausibility There is no scientific explanation for any of creations in the novel with some of them physically impossible the flying bear This is one reason that I believe this is not proper Science Fiction but Fantasy I cared for the characters; I thought they were complex and well rounded especially Borne Although the title character was non human the story has a human dimension and puts accent on feelings and about what makes somethingsomeone a person My only problem was with the pacing There were moments when I felt the action dragging and then everything was happening too fast I will read of VanderMeer’s novels because I am impressed with the author’s writing and creativity Many thanks to Jeff VanderMeer HarperCollins UK 4th Estate and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review

  9. William William says:

    Ten Stars Ask not for whom the bell tolls It tolls for theeExuisite and extraordinary A poignant and terrible vision an astounding dystopia so plausible so actually probable now This is a book you LIVE not just read This is a life you anticipate All through this extraordinary and wonderful book I found myself nearly in tears as I watched Rachel my grand daughter in this story suffer and struggle in the wreck of a world we are creating for her now I find Rachel’s terrible future to be our future and Rachel’s remembered past to be what we are living now and will lose so very soon We are both gods and fools and have consigned our children to the hell that should be reserved for us and for our greedy leaders whom we allow to poison and abuse our futureFull size image hereIn the early 13 of the book Rachel's attachment to Borne her son is magical and full of newly parental insight and growing love The unspoken uestions and needs are so poignant here so human and sad Such a wonderful book As Borne grows older and independent Rachel is slowly losing her child just as all mothers experience We live this confusion and loss with her Her great wish is to teach her child who is already a stranger who is so focused on his new world that he fails to see her needs We are reminded that we don’t own our children they are only on loan to us VanderMeer brings us into this living world and instills us with uiet desperation and fear The prose is easy yet deep each chapter drawing us deeper into the daily struggles and sometimes joys of Rachel Wick and BorneThe love between Rachel and Wick is at first one of shared need and shared fear of tragedy They hold back their inner secrets and traumas both from shame as well as from fear of abandonment Their need is intense but they have lost their worlds and do slowly bind themselves to each other in every way without revealing their core secrets or shame The only way forward is the joy of allowing themselves to trust in spite of the loss of the world in spite of their past shame in spite of their deep terror of what they really are In many ways this is the real journey of the book a uiet discovery of who they can be in spite of their pasts Wonderful The people and beings that Rachel and Wick encounter here are heart rending especially in Rachel's meeting with the doomed children scavengers and the little boy Teem Who are we? What gives us the right to condemn them to such a world as this?A truly marvellous and wonderful achievment A Must Read book for everyone with a strong heart Ask not for whom the bell tolls It tolls for theeAs I read I am moved to write this Now I have tears for Teem and the other children who are really our grandchildren lost in the wilderness we have created of our earth Not with a bang but a whimperOur children festering on the corpse of our glorydescending into starvationand the terror of encroaching madnessWe witness here the final release of the death of who we might have been The book ends on a hopeful note with some hopeful events and relating a small and diminished peace and happiness for Rachel and Wick The book itself is not dire it’s full of positive struggle and love Rachel and Wick are small heroes good and strong And throughout we are immersed in VanderMeer's incomparable exuisite prose A joy a wonder Thank you NetGalley for providing this book to meBorne and Mord fightFull size image hereThroughout VanderMeer provides wonderful gentle humour To tell me this Borne had made himself small and “respectable” as he called it almost human except for too many eyes But really “respectable” meant he looked like a human undergoing some painful and sludgy transformation into a terrestrial octopus with four legs instead of tentaclesHuman insight Wick’s hazel green eyes had grown larger empathic in that shrunken face as he pondered the puzzle of what I had brought to him Those eyes saw everything except perhaps how I saw himAnd this poignant prayer Names of people of places meant so little and so we had stopped burdening others by seeking them The map of the old horizon was like being haunted by a grotesue fairy tale something that when voiced came out not as words but as sounds in the aftermath of an atrocity Anonymity amongst all the wreckage of the Earth this was what I sought And a good pair of boots for when it got cold And an old tin of soup half hidden in rubble These things became blissful; how could names have power next to that? Yet still I named him Borne

  10. J.L. Sutton J.L. Sutton says:

    There's something very fantastical about the dystopian world Jeff VanderMeer creates in Borne; this is especially evident in the novel's title character It's interesting to see Borne develop through the protagonist's eyes However for all the discussion and uestioning about how the world came to be filled with biological mutations like Borne I feel there is a lack of depth to this exploration I may be overly critical here because I kept being reminded of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake which I think is absolutely fantastic and thought Borne suffered by comparison That said while the novel started slow overall I liked Borne a lot 35 Stars

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