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by Jeff VanderMeer

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Book Club Recommendations eBooks of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Borne

Finch, the last VanderMeer that I read, was referred to as ‘fungal noir’, a wonderful phrase.  With that in mind Borne could be described as a post-apocalyptic thriller with squishy bits, or possible human drama with tentacles.  Scavenger Rachel finds a squid-like plant and takes it home where, in true Little Shop of Horrors style, it grows.  It is not a plant; it is not a child; it is Borne.  In a ruined and decaying city where genetically engineered ‘biotech’ provides everything from security to medicines to rampaging monsters, Rachel attempts to raise and educate Borne and help him become a person.  All she has to do is convince her secretive and paranoid lover, avoid the enigmatic magician, find enough food and salvaged scraps to survive and hide from the giant bear which is destroying the city.  Told in a bold, clear voice, with humour, love and no small amount of graphic violence, Borne is a stunning book.  Secrets, twists and unreliable memories keep Rachel and the reader on their toes, and the dilemma of raising a child who might be a monster, is compelling.  In that sense this is truly a human drama of how far the bonds of love will stretch in adversity.  Rachel is an excellent narrator and I really enjoyed her no-nonsense tone, upbeat despite the atrocities around her.  A real survivor’s tale and a masterpiece of ‘squishy’ sci-fi which I really enjoyed. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

Sarah Broadhurst

Borne Synopsis

A FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR The dark, dangerous, funny and uplifting new novel from the author of Annihilation, the inspiration for the major motion picture directed by Alex Garland. 'Neither of us had control of our monsters anymore' In a ruined city of the future, Rachel scavenges a strange creature from the fur of a despotic bear. She names him Borne. He reminds her of her homeland lost to rising seas, but her lover Wick is intent on rendering him down as raw material for the special drugs he sells. Nothing is quite what it seems, and if Wick is hiding secrets, so too is Rachel - and Borne most of all.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008159214
Publication date: 8th March 2018
Author: Jeff VanderMeer
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
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Borne Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Catherine Bryce - 'A superb futuristic story and very creepy and very sad whilst being very exciting but keeps you riveted to the book from start to end.'
  • Jennifer Rainbow - 'An engrossing eye-popping story, completely original, you haven't read anything like this. From a flying bear to worms that diagnose your illness, I don't have words to justify how good this story is.'
  • Catherine Hogwood - 'A story that is as intriguing as it is captivating. What makes us human when the world has changed beyond what we can comprehend?'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'It just seemed to wander vaguely at times but was worth the read.'
  • Angela Rhodes - 'Oh my goodness, what can I say about Borne? Apart from the fact that this has to be one of the best Science Fiction/Fantasy books I have read for a long, long time!'
  • Suzanne James - 'Into a city devastated byThe Company a small, strange creature is found.  What starts off childlike and wondrous soon becomes more sinister and nothing can be the same again...I was gripped by this dystopian world and Rachel's fight for survival there.'
  • Clare Topping - 'The author has the making of a weird and bizarre story.'

Jeff VanderMeer Press Reviews

'Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy was an ever-creeping map of the apocalypse; with Borne he continues his investigation into the malevolent grace of the world, and it's a thorough marvel.'
Colson Whitehead


'I'm loving the Southern Reach Trilogy ... Creepy and fascinating'
Stephen King

'Hauntingly weird and brilliantly new ... These are contemporary masterpieces and career-defining novels'
Adam Robert, Books of the Year, Guardian

'This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece ... Remarkable ... Tense, eerie and unsettling ... VanderMeer writes much better prose than Poe ever did ... This is genuinely potent and dream-haunting writing. VanderMeer has arrived.'

'A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike ... Annihilation shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience'
Sunday Telegraph

'VanderMeer's novel is a psycho-geographical tour de force, channelling Ballard and Lovecraft to instil the reader with a deep, delicious unease'
Financial Times

'What a haunting book this is, lodging deep in the memory in similar fashion to otherworldly classics such as David Lindsay's A Voyage To Arcturus ... Annihilation is so disquietingly strange as to defy summarisation. Read it'
Daily Mail

'Astonishing, frightening, spectacular ... The imaginative daring and reach with which VanderMeer has invented and executed a concept such as Area X is breathtaking ... Powerful and echoing ... I hope the trilogy will come to be seen not only as the instant sci-fi classic it is, but also as Literature'
New Statesman

'Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel ... A major work' ***** SFX Magazine

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008159214
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008159177
Publication date: 15/06/2017
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780008159191
Publication date: 15/06/2017
Format: Ebook

View All Editions

About Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and in multiple year’s-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.

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