The blurbs on the back of this book were effusive and one even said something like “unputdownable.” I had to put this book down so very many times because I just couldn’t get into it. I basically forced myself to finish it. We find the protagonist from the last book – the biologist, using the nickname “Ghost Bird” given to her by her husband – being interrogated by “Control” about her return from Area X.
I read this book. I looked at every page. I followed the story when I was in the act of reading it. But I cannot tell you anything about this damn book. This was literary Versed. The detached tone from the first book is more present here, and it makes everything so hard to care about. All the characters are enigmatic, and so the story reads like cockney rhyming slang, where I have to figure out who is trying to hide what from whom, or what they’re alluding to.
The synopsis is that Ghost Bird is really a replica of the biologist, Control’s interrogation of her is being directed by his handler using the same hypnotic suggestion from the first book, and Area X is taking over the Southern Reach, the organization investigating the area. That sounds like an interesting book, but I just couldn’t get past the bloodless style to engage with the writing. It must be me; reading the reviews of this book (to refresh my memory on a book I finished less than a week ago), they’re nearly all positive. I can accept that. But I’m still giving it two stars.