Acceptance: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy)
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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.
she might, out of a respect for the rules. Because behind all of your reasons, your data, you worry that it just boils down to being tired of the feeling in the pit of your stomach every time another expedition doesn’t come back, or only half comes back, or comes back with nothing. Needing to somehow change the paradigm. “It’s just a quick jaunt over to El Topoff and back. No one will ever find out.” Although Lowry might. What will he do if he finds out you crossed the border without his
and, ultimately, the sea. Where once you saw otters, heard the call of curlews. You take a deep breath and relax into the landscape, walk along the shore of this lower heaven rejuvenated by its perfect stillness. Your legs are for a time no longer tired and you are afraid of nothing, not even Area X, and you have no room for memory or thought or anything except this moment, and this one, and the next. Soon enough, though, that feeling falls away again, and you and Whitby—survivors of the
and froth of the surf, the sharp smell of the sea, the crisscrossing shape of the gulls, their sudden, jarring cries. An ordinary day in Area X, an extraordinary day—the day of your death—and there you are, propped up against a mound of sand, half sheltered by a crumbling wall. The warm sun against your face, and the dizzying view above of the lighthouse looming down through its own shadow. The sky has an intensity that admits to nothing beyond its blue prison. There’s sticky sand glittering
else she’s here, what other business she has with Lowry. Has she walked into a trap, or has Lowry? Trying to remember the exact date when Severance came to the Southern Reach. Going through a list of her tasks, her duties, and where she was when. Thinking that there is some part of the puzzle you can’t see, that you need to see. * * * Lowry, there at the center of his secret headquarters, overlooking the sea as snow in thick flakes begins to cover the grass, the sea mines, the little paths.
tart surprise of Charlie’s lip balm against his cheek. Held him for an extra moment, trying to preserve all of it, as a bulwark against whatever had just happened. Then, too soon, Charlie was gone, out the door, into the night, headed for the boat. 0019: CONTROL The night was full of white rabbits streaking across the sky, instead of the stars, the moon—and Control knew that was wrong in some fevered part of his mind, some compartment holding out against the inquisitive brightness. Were