Borne is a child. The person who found Borne feels like a mother to ‘him’, and is raising him with the man she lives with. They argue about Borne a lot like parents in a broken home might. Borne doesn’t know about the world or himself and gets hurt because of his innocence, and then loses that innocence when he leaves home to try to be his own person, just like a child does eventually. It’s all painfully obvious and surface level.
The weird technology and crazy bear creatures feel like an attempted distraction from this simplistic theme.
So far this story seems thin somehow, compared to VanderMeer’s other books. Perhaps it is the character who is telling it. She seems to jerk back and forth between a simplistic, naive, cute view of things, and an elegant poetic prose description of the world. The narrator takes a lot of the punch out of these descriptions with the light tone she uses throughout. No fault of the author there, though.
I’m almost finished and am hoping the climax will make up for the so far mediocre story.