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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, February 2014: There is a comfort in familiarity, a foundation from which to definitively identify and label. But Jeff VanderMeer is not interested in putting his readers at ease. With Annihilation--the first volume of The Southern Reach Trilogy--he carefully creates a yearning for answers, then boldly denies them, reminding us that being too eager to know too much can be dangerous. The story follows an expedition of four women who are known only by their professions: the Psychologist, the Surveyor, the Anthropologist, and the Biologist--nameless pawns tasked with exploring, discovering, and (hopefully) delivering data about a portentous coastal territory called Area X. We are a bit like fifth members of that team (perhaps "the Reader"), learning at the same pace, guided by the observations of our narrator, the Biologist. Still the context remains blurry as VanderMeer twists each discovery into a deeper mystery. Through potent description and unrelenting tension, he achieves a level of emotional manipulation that should appeal to anyone who embraced the paranormal phenomena and maddening uncertainties of Lost. --Robin A. Rothman
*Starred Review* An expedition of four women is sent into an unknown region called Area X, beyond the borders of humanity: a psychologist, a surveyor, an anthropologist, and our narrator, a biologist. The purpose of the mission is to collect data about Area X and report back to the government, the Southern Reach, but circumstances begin to change when the group discovers a tower (or tunnel) that was previously unmarked on the map. Inside the structure, strange writing scrawls across the walls, and a spiral staircase descends downward, beckoning the members to follow. Previous expeditions ended badly, with group members disappearing or returning as shells of their former selves, but little is known about what actually occurred on those trips to Area X. A gripping fantasy thriller, Annihilation is thoroughly suspenseful. In a manner similar to H. G. Wells’ in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), VanderMeer weaves together an otherworldly tale of the supernatural and the half-human. Delightfully, this page-turner is the first in a trilogy. --Heather PaulsonSee all Editorial Reviews
Strange and weird, but I like that kind of book. I can't wait to read the next two.Published 1 day ago by K. Olsen
Repeated expeditions to a closed-off spooky coastal area of NE United States result in various bad outcomes -- in some cases, nobody returns; in others, some returned utterly... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Daming Bai
A thoughtful, well-written, introspective piece of science fiction. Although I wish I could have learned more about this world and its strange inhabitants (perhaps in the... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Sliver111
After a slow beginning to the century, a number of science fiction and fantasy novels published in english in the 2010s have really been excellent e.g. Read morePublished 9 days ago by tongvis
Annihilation is all about tone. Hitting a single note on a piano and letting it ring out for as long as it can. Read morePublished 12 days ago by The Baron Von Crabcakes
I really couldn't get into this story. It seemed very personal to the writer.Published 13 days ago by Sandra Mahanna
Area X is an isolated area along a coast that has been reclaimed by nature in the decades since it was cut off from the rest of the world. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Sasha Golin