A great end to the Southern Reach series. In Acceptance VanderMeer's investigators return to Area-X to conclude the trilogy, where they explore the stA great end to the Southern Reach series. In Acceptance VanderMeer's investigators return to Area-X to conclude the trilogy, where they explore the strange landscape and seek the answers for the area's surreal disaster. After a slower second book I was happy to find Acceptance moving with a faster pace. The novel expands the first book's expedition, both discovering answers and new questions as the party pushes further into Area-X. The backstory explored in alternate chapters does not slow the book down, as I felt it often did in book two, but created an interesting narrative that colored the present story instead. Without giving too much away, I can say that the ending is appropriately unsettling, and a fitting conclusion to the series. ...more
Where Annihilation explores the area of the strange disaster, Authority focuses on the flip side of the Southern Reach, following a man nicknamed ContWhere Annihilation explores the area of the strange disaster, Authority focuses on the flip side of the Southern Reach, following a man nicknamed Control as he joins the office charged with analyzing and explaining the area's phenomenon. Despite many interesting scenes, and the same growing sense of dread its predecessor created, this book was a somewhat disappointing follow-up to Annihilation. Too many pages are devoted to the politics and bureaucratic intricacies of the Southern Reach office, and as the reader already knows what is on the other side of the border (Control does not), his investigation lacks urgency. There is still much in this book to recommend it, and many creepy and strange scenes, but the balance seems a bit off. The ending, though, was well worth the wait even if the narrative was bogged down at times. I can't wait to read the next installment....more
Matthew Quinn Martin hits the reset button to give the vampire genre a much-needed overhaul in the first installment of what will hopefully become a vMatthew Quinn Martin hits the reset button to give the vampire genre a much-needed overhaul in the first installment of what will hopefully become a very long series.
Imagine being afraid of vampires (instead of annoyed by or attracted to them). This is what made Nightlife stand out immediately: Martin's vampires are actually frightening. Instead of offering the usual paint-by-number cliches, he reinvents the well-worn trope, recasting vampires as actual monsters while creating his own Lovecraftian history.
Beth Becker, a no-nonsense bartender in New Harbor, Connecticut, becomes an amateur detective as friends in her town begin to disappear (hooray for Female Protagonists!). Investigating the disappearances, she finds her path crossing with a grizzled stranger, a vagrant prophet, New Harbor's secret society, hordes of drunken party-goes, and a phalanx of indifferent cops -all of whom she will need to out fight or outwit if she hopes to see her friends again.
At times the characters strayed near cliches, and the dialogue was a bit stilted, but only in an enjoyable B-movie way. Balanced by a great combination of suspense and humor, carried quickly along by Martin's workman-like prose, Nightlife kept me up late, reading and furiously swiping my screen to see what would happen next....more
A great start to the series. The story of a group of explorers venturing into an area changed by an unspecified disaster (environmental? supernatural?A great start to the series. The story of a group of explorers venturing into an area changed by an unspecified disaster (environmental? supernatural?) is gripping and engaging, while the personal back story of the main character creates a nice layer of depth. Equal parts Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. ...more
If Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison had a love child raised by Barry Hannah he would sound something like Bobby Bird, the life story of a washed-up rockIf Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison had a love child raised by Barry Hannah he would sound something like Bobby Bird, the life story of a washed-up rock star named Bobby Bird who embodies every rock and roll cliché.
The novel reads like the most depraved moments from VH1’s “Behind the Music” mashed into one musician (plus an adventure on a satanic cult cruise ship and a fist-fight with Bob Dylan).
Half-way through Bobby Bird warns that “This is a story I’m not too inclined to tell unless you are particularly interested in tales of full grown men turning into worthless assholes.” Bobby Bird is a misogynist, an addict, and a deadbeat whose most redemptive quality is a kind of endearing stupidity. A deeper search than just the limits of excess drives him, though. Be it through lovers, surrogate fathers, or brothers-in-arms, Bird’s real search for companionship keeps him restless, and keeps the plot rocketing forward....more