Like Annihilation before it, Borne is a slow book, a rich book. It's intense, it demands that you take your time with it, because every word has been painstakingly chosen and put together to create not only meaning, but feeling that runs deep, and an intuitive understanding that runs even deeper. Every instant that you spend reading it is worth it and more.
Jeff Vandermeer is very, very good at writing weird fiction that incorporates the disquieting and biological without actually crossing over into horror. In Borne he tells a beautifully human story with a cast of majority non-human characters. There are themes of parenthood, personhood, and love that somehow sit comfortably alongside and are even enhanced by out of control bio-engineering, giant flying bears, and alcohol minnows.
I really don't know what else to say, except that you should read this book. It's a masterpiece of tragedy and hope, disquiet and beauty. Jeff Vandermeer has done it again.
5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.