Books | Fiction / Horror
A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM ALEX GARLAND, STARRING NATALIE PORTMAN AND OSCAR ISAACThe Southern Reach Trilogy begins with Annihilation, the Nebula Award-winning novel that "reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world" (Kim Stanley Robinson).Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it's the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.
Community ReviewsSee all
"Original, unlike anything I’d ever read before"
"Don't let the first person perspective turn you away, this is well worth the read. What starts as a seemingly stilted, awkward narrator slowly becomes part of the eerie ambience that sneaks up on you along with the uncanniness of Area X. Things that seem arbitrary upon first glance become impactful as the story progresses. The rambling, distracted voice of the Biologist transforms into an narrative more like mycelium than linear plot. Vandermeer also doesn't fall prey to the beast that regularly eats authors writing women alive: forgetting that women are normal people, too. Only one sentence felt like an unnecessary "woman written by a man" faux pas, and it was (shockingly) silly rather than offensive. Pick it up if you want a grounded sci-fi that will slowly unmoor you."
"I'm going to apologize now because this review will be a biased inconsequential piece of garbage. Annihilation is chock full of "look for a higher meaning" and "could be decent into madness or is it". Well things like that mostly go over my head. The story was interesting and I was 100% for it. I didn't mind going in blind like the team did while uncovering area x. Just the adventure and research had me turning the page. Also the character debt was surprising seeing as how the book was so short. <br/><br/>Then after I hit the 80% mark and I wasn't learning or understanding anything the book took a hard dive. It became very long winded even before that. But somehow even though the whole story was grey it was still inviting. Yet every discovery was just as obscure as the last. To be frank the plot and my review are inconclusive. So what do I do now read on in hopes that I might uncover a shred of evidence. It's hard for me to do that when I was given nothing. And I can't even say the book left on a cliff hanger. It just seemed to end like my interest in the series."
"One of the most unique and strange books I've read. Leaves you feeling like there is some deeper meaning that can quite be explained. Its very atmospheric as well. Best described as eerie. Nothing you can put your finger on, just an uneasy feeling that adds this amazing tension. Very well done👍"