[Lopez's] most encompassing, autobiographical, passionately detailed, and reflective book ... Prodigiously attentive out in the world and rigorous on the page, morally inquisitive and bracingly candid, Lopez pegs this expansive narrative to places that have special resonance for him ... Sharply attuned to the wonders and decimation of the living world, the endless assaults against indigenous people, and the daunting challenges of a changing climate, Lopez tells revelatory tales, poses tough questions, and shares wisdom, all while looking to the horizon.
Lopez's free-associative essays blend vivid reportage on landscapes, wildlife, and the knotty relationships among the scientists he accompanies with larger musings on natural history, environmental and climate crises, and the sins of Western imperialism in erasing indigenous cultures. It’s often hard to tell where Lopez is going with his frequent digressions: one two-page section skitters from global cancer rates past a one-eyed goshawk he once saw in Namibia to an astrophysics experiment at the South Pole to detect dark matter, with no particular conclusion. Still, his prose is so evocative and his curiosity so infectious that readers will be captivated.