In Borne, the epic new novel from Jeff VanderMeer, author of the acclaimed, bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined, dangerous city of the near future. The city is littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a bio-tech firm now seemingly derelict—and punished by the unpredictable attacks of a giant bear.
Writer/director Alex Garland managed to assemble a great cast for his adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi thriller ANNIHILATION – Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Oscar Isaac. I’ve never read a VanderMeer book, but the material Garland was working with must be quite impressive to draw in a cast like that. ANNIHILATION was produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush for Paramount, and the studio is clearly impressed with VanderMeer’s prose, as now that ANNIHILATION is in post-production Paramount has purchased the film rights to another VanderMeer novel for Rudin and Bush. The next collaboration between Paramount, VanderMeer, Rudin, and Bush will be an adaptation of the author’s upcoming novel BORNE, which is set to reach bookstore shelves on May 2, 2017.
4.2 rating based on 73 ratings (all editions)
Author(s): Publisher: MCD/FSG (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.
"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."
In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.
One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.
"He was born, but I had borne him."
But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.