Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
Published June 15th 2017 by Fourth Estate (first published April 25th 2017)
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 Rachel.
At 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 Collapse.
Borne 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 bond.
Wick 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 city.
Against 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?
So many people had recommended this book to me and I jumped at the chance to review it (thank you NetGalley). However, after about 20 pages or so I realised it was not for me. I don’t know if it’s because I had just finished a thriller and i was not prepared for the highly descriptive writing but I knew that if I continued it would lead to a huge reading slump.
My rating has nothing to do with the story or themes of the book, it is purely down to my personal reading preferences. I found the book was taking me a lot longer to get through than it should have and found myself putting off reading. The only reasoning that I have been that the writing style was not what I was looking for. I would like to try to read it again in the future but as for now it will remain DNF.
Overall it was a 2 STAR read.
You can check out the authors… HERE
Thank you NetGalley, Fourth Estate & Jeff VanderMeer
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