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Think 'Lost' or 'The Leftovers'. Two tv shows that play on piling up many questions. Area X is a nice deal, three stories of an anthology sold as one. An unexplainable expanse has opened up in a forgotten part of the world. A government agency full of secrets over sees its exploration. You the reader are never given answers. The characters are always trying to find out just what the heck is going on.
As an idea, this anthology is 5 stars. Amazing idea. One of the best ideas I have come across in the sci-fi genre.
The manner in which this idea unfolds over the three stories is exquisite. Beautifully done.
I found this story lacking though. Its hard to read/listen to. Its very slow. Where it should be relying upon suspense, it rarely does. Its well written. But wordy. I like introspection, but there is too much of it here. It could have been bettered by more conversations between the characters.
I also found that the characters were all very similar. That one character they all really are is good, but I don't think everyone acts this way. Reading 5 or 6 characters that take on this same over all persona becomes deadening.
You know how when one book has a good idea, 500 other authors take on the same concept? Like Interview with a Vampire started a slew of vampire novels or how you can find 1000 different zombie titles on audible right now? Area X stands alone. I hope other authors are inspired by this concept & that 10 years from now we see it explored in more detail. I think that VanderMeer has something good, but that it has not been explored to its fullest.
36 of 37 people found this review helpful
This series starts off like "Lost" - mysterious place with lots of questions.
Book 2 is a slog. It's all inter-company squabbles of the Dharma Initiative.
Book 3 is decent with some action. A bit dreamy and weird and hard to follow but the answers are coming right? And then it ends so abruptly I actually yelled "WTF!" at my car stereo. If you want a great start that then will waste hours going absolutely nowhere... Area X is it.
76 of 81 people found this review helpful