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Finch by Jeff VanderMeer Review

Title: Finch

Author: Jeff VanderMeer

First published November 1, 2009

320 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780980226010 (ISBN10: 0980226015)

Rating: 4


Ambergris, the failed fantasy state, has been reconquered by the mysterious underground inhabitants known as the gray caps. Under their martial law, House Hoegbotton has been disbanded, and the human inhabitants are being controlled with strange addictive drugs and internment in camps.

Amidst the chaos, John Finch lives alone with his cat and lizard, tasked with solving a double murder for his gray cap masters while secretly trying to make contact with the rebels. But as he navigates a landscape of spies, rebels, and deception, Finch realizes that nothing is as it seems.

Trapped in his job and the city, he is about to uncover a series of mysteries that will change him and Ambergris forever. Get ready for a thrilling ride through this enigmatic world with Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch.

About the Author

Jeff VanderMeer is a celebrated author known for his commitment to environmental issues. His latest book, Borne, has been widely acclaimed and his previous works, the Southern Reach trilogy, have garnered numerous accolades, including Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards.

The trilogy has been translated into 35 languages and was adapted into a film directed by Alex Garland. VanderMeer’s nonfiction writing has been published in esteemed publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Atlantic.

He has also coedited several anthologies with his wife, a Hugo Award-winning editor. In addition to his literary pursuits, VanderMeer served as the Trias Writer in Residence at Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 2016 to 2017 and has spoken at prestigious institutions such as the Guggenheim and the Library of Congress.

Although VanderMeer was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, he spent a significant portion of his childhood in the Fiji Islands due to his parents’ work with the Peace Corps. The family’s journey back to the United States via Asia, Africa, and Europe had a profound impact on VanderMeer.

He is currently based in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife and their two cats, surrounded by their extensive collection of books. One of VanderMeer’s notable contributions to the literary world is Wonderbook, the world’s first fully illustrated creative writing guide.

Editoral Review

Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch is a gripping, genre-blending novel that seamlessly weaves together elements of detective fiction, steampunk, and surrealism. As the concluding book in VanderMeer’s Ambergris Trilogy, Finch follows detective John Finch as he navigates the dystopian city of Ambergris, full of fungal spores and political intrigue.

VanderMeer’s writing is atmospheric and vivid, painting a hauntingly beautiful image of a city in decay. The novel’s themes of corruption, power struggles, and paranoia are relevant to our current society, making it a thought-provoking read.

The plot of Finch is complex and multi-layered, with unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. The world-building is masterful, with VanderMeer seamlessly integrating the fantastical elements of the city into the storyline.

The characters are flawed and dynamic, with Finch at the forefront as a conflicted anti-hero. While there is certainly a lot to admire about Finch, there are also some potential weaknesses to consider.

The novel can be slow-paced at times, and some readers may struggle to connect with the surreal aspects of the story. Additionally, the complex political landscape and intricate backstories of the characters can be overwhelming at times.

Overall, Finch is a stunning conclusion to VanderMeer’s trilogy, and a must-read for fans of speculative fiction. With its unforgettable characters, intricate world-building, and timely themes, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.

I would highly recommend this book, and give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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