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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Annihilation, a brilliant speculative thriller of dark conspiracy, endangered species, and the possible end of all things

Security consultant “Jane Smith” receives an envelope with a key to a storage unit that holds a taxidermied hummingbird and clues leading her to a taxidermied salamander. Silvina, the dead woman who left the note, is a reputed ecoterrorist and the daughter of an Argentine industrialist. By taking the hummingbird from the storage unit, Jane sets in motion a series of events that quickly spin beyond her control.

Soon, Jane and her family are in danger, with few allies to help her make sense of the true scope of the peril. Is the only way to safety to follow in Silvina’s footsteps? Is it too late to stop? As she desperately seeks answers about why Silvina contacted her, time is running out - for her and possibly for the world.

Hummingbird Salamander is Jeff VanderMeer at his brilliant, cinematic best, wrapping profound questions about climate change, identity, and the world we live in into a tightly plotted thriller full of unexpected twists and elaborate conspiracy.

©2021 VanderMeer Creative, Inc. (P)2021 Blackstone Publishing

What listeners say about Hummingbird Salamander

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

If this is how the world ends, bring a gameboy.

Felt like Vandermeer watched Under the Silver Lake and tried to put his own spin on the formula but ended up just writing a semi-bland mystery. None of the fun abstract stuff in his other works appears in Hummingbird Salamander. The protagonist is basically The Biologist from Annihilation but lacked any likable qualities for the reader/listener to latch onto, ultimately leading to her being difficult (and then impossible) to root for. The clues she was following were sort of vanilla and never really that satisfying to uncover.

While Vandermeer certainly has more creativity than I, this book was just a slog to get through after it's first act sadly. Southern Reach and Ambergris are vastly more interesting and purposeful works, they left me thinking about them well after putting them down - ironic that Hummingbird Salamander is his most straight forward novel in many aspects, yet the most forgettable.

The narrator did an excellent job, even with the different male voices. Maybe check it out if youre a JV fan and are curious what his work would be like with all the weirdness removed?

4 people found this helpful

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Awful

I so enjoyed Borne but this book is just terrible. You don’t get any answers until the end and even then they are unsatisfactory. Terrible editing on the narration. The main character is just a jerk and makes so many ridiculous decisions. For example, she somehow gets explosives and knows how to use them. What? Avoid, avoid, avoid.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Typical VanderMeer

I liked it. It wasn’t as confusing as some past works lol tbh it was really good and typical of him. If you’ve never done one of his books this could be a good one to start with, good character build and nice ending.

3 people found this helpful

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Overwritten pretentious clsptrap

Hours I'll never get back. A relentless grimness, a protagonist who could never exist, a story that never materialized. The reader did what she could but had nothing to work with.
Not recommended. For anyone. The bleak wreck of the American experiment put into a book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jp
  • 04-18-21

Eco Crime & Conspiracy Thriller

I've listened to about 500 audiobooks and this narrator's performance was masterful (Lisa Flanagan).

Jeff VanderMeer's work is often too strange (and too gross) for me, but his writing and storytelling is very good.

My husband, who likes VanderMeer's weirder novels, suggested that I read Hummingbird Salamander and I'm glad I did. I hope you do, too.

3 people found this helpful

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Wack

Really unlikable main character, lackluster reading and just a mediocre story in general. Glad it’s over.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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a daunting tale

really struggled to finish this. I normally enjoy Jeff's books, but this one wasn't for me. the main character, just wasn't really engaging and the plot points were quite weak.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

only because it's Jeff vandermeer

I liked it less than the others but I still liked it. I am a huge huge fan of his so I refuse to give his work anything less than 4 stars. this lacked a darkness I require . it was thought provoking and had subtle tie ins to other books ,so for that reason alone it must be read. this is only my first run through. I usually read / listen to his books at least 10 times . so maybe I will enjoy it more the next go around.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

just not my kind of mystery

struggled to finish. just not.my type of book to read. I like thriller but no sci-fi

1 person found this helpful

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Hated it!

The premise sounded interesting so I purchased the book. Barely made it through the 1st ten chapters and then couldn't take it anymore. The protagonist is unlikeable, spends pages navel-gazing on the most irrelevant issues unrelated to the story line, and wrings her hands over assigning fictitious names to the characters (which are already fictitious!) So hard to listen to! The author is fixated on the colour of piss, and throws in the word "f***" at the oddest times so as to make it jarring. All very unlikeable. Maybe it gets better but it would take a commitment to get to the good parts.