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ACCEPTANCE Jeff VanderMeer

The first two books of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation and Authority, described 30 years of failed explorations — from a variety of perspectives and points in time — to Area X, a sinister landmass inexplicably cut off from the rest of the world. In Acceptance, the author expertly dismantles those earlier narratives, piece by chilling piece, until we’re left with the moment that Area X came into existence. A-