Celerity is a mediocre track athlete who dropped out of college in her senior year, after her father, a research botanist, died at home after one last expedition to Panama’s Darién Gap. When she receives his papers, she notes his detailed research into a new plant, which he named after her, but on his deathbed he tells her, Don’t follow my work. And punctuates that command by destroying several plants on his greenhouse, along with an assistant who suddenly disappears.
So Celerity, in her grief, studies her father’s papers, recaptures his online files, and discovers a tiny seedling that escaped her father’s purge. She reckons it’s a bamboo species, one of many that spot the Ventura property. But its astonishingly rapid growth indicates it’s the plant her father named after her, part of the research he forbade her to continue, and she plumbs his papers for more information. What she finds is earth-shattering, proof she should have obeyed his directive. But Celerity is already on track, drawn by the unimaginable power of this plant named after her, flying faster and faster down the path she should have avoided.
Scott Falcon has crafted a suspenseful novel with touches of Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy to produce a speculative fiction work that serves, like Southern Reach, as a warning: some matters should be left undisturbed.