Apologies in advance for the vagueness, as I have not read it but only remember fragments of the summary blurb on the back from glancing at it in a bookstore.
What I do remember:
- It imitated the atmosphere of those 19th century (or early 20th) travel memoirs/notes, but was written either this century or in the late 90's onwards based on the vibe/cover design etc.
- Was in English
- The premise is that of an explorer who encounters gradually more corrupted wildlife as he explores the lands
- I think it took place in an alternate America or at least in an Anglo setting.
- The cover included painted depictions of a wild scene (i.e. one an explorer would venture into) with a slightly eerie quality
From googling various combinations of keywords, I either get actual 19th century travel memoirs or works like those of Jeff VanderMeer that have to do with the same idea of corruption but aren't the target book. ChatGPT was unable to find it either with the description above.