I’m a massive Jeff VanderMeer fan. His Southern Reach trilogy is one of my all-time favorite series, as are his Ambergris novels. That said, he’s not for everyone. I know that—I accept that. His brand of “new weird” can be pretty far-out a lot of the time, especially when he veers into a more literary writing style. So, when I heard of Hummingbird Salamander, I was surprised that he was leaning more mainstream with this near-future eco-thriller. I couldn’t help but think, how this was going to straddle the line between his longtime fans and those who were new to his work and/or intimidated by it? And the result? VanderMeer does manage to straddle that line effectively, telling an overall great story with a few hiccups and stumbles along the way.