- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance Hardcover – November 18, 2014
|New from||Used from|
$1.17 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Special offers and product promotions
“I'm loving The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Creepy and fascinating.” ―Stephen King
“VanderMeer's dreamy narrative, shot through with echoes of Lovecraft, Orwell, and Kafka, is compulsively readable.” ―Tina Jordan, Entertainment Weekly
“Chilling.” ―Julie Bosman, New York Times
“VanderMeer masterfully conjures up an atmosphere of both metaphysical dread and visceral tension . . . Annihilation is a novel in which facts are undermined and doubt instilled at almost every turn. It's about science as a way of not only thinking but feeling, rather than science as a means of becoming certain about the world. . . . Ingenious.” ―Laura Miller, Salon
“A clear triumph for Vandermeer . . . a compelling, elegant, and existential story . . . The solitary voice of its post-humanist narrator is both deeply flawed and deeply trustworthy―a difficult and excellent balance in a novel whose world is built seamlessly and whose symbols are rich and dark.” ―Lydia Millet, LA Times
“A book about an intelligent, deadly fungus makes for an enthralling read―trust us.” ―Tara Wanda Merrigan, GQ
“[An] altogether fantastic book . . . Annihilation is a book meant for gulping--for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover.” ―Jason Sheehan, NPR Books
“Successfully creepy, an old-style gothic horror novel set in a not-too-distant future. The best bits turn your mind inside out.” ―Sara Sklaroff, The Washington Post
“If J.J. Abrams-style by-the-numbers stories of shadowy organizations and science magic have let you down one too many times, then Annihilation will be more like a revelation. VanderMeer peels back the skin of the everyday, and gives you a glimpse of a world where science really is stretching the bounds of our knowledge―sometimes to the point where we can't ever be the same . . . [Annihilation] will make you believe in the power of science mysteries again.” ―Annalee Nevitz, io9
“Fans of the Lost TV series . . . this one is for you.” ―Molly Driscoll, Christian Science Monitor
“What frightens you? According to many psychologists, our most widely shared phobia is the fear of falling. Jeff VanderMeer's novel Annihilation taps into that bottomless terror . . . VanderMeer ups the book's eeriness quotient with the smoothest of skill, the subtlest of grace. His prose makes the horrific beautiful.” ―Nisi Shawl, Seattle Times
“Much of the flora and fauna seem familiar, but that's what's so fascinating about the carnage that VanderMeer sets loose. He has created a science fiction story about a world much like our own.” ―John Domini, Miami Herald
“Annihilation feels akin to isolated sci-fi terrors of Alien . . . teases and terrifies and fascinates.” ―Kevin Nguyen, Grantland
“The plot moves quickly and has all the fantastic elements you'd ever want--biological contaminants, peculiar creatures, mysterious deaths--but it's the novel's unbearable dread that lingers with me days after I've finished it.” ―Justin Alvarez, The Paris Review
“Jeff VanderMeer ventures on to strange ground in this enigmatic story.” ―Alex Good, The Toronto Star
“[VanderMeer's] writing is courageously imaginative, fiercely unformulaic, and utterly immersive. You don't read Jeff VanderMeer, you experience him.” ―Paul Goat Allen, The Barnes & Noble Book Blog
“The first book in what may be a modern classic of post-apocalyptic sci-fi . . . Annihilation's story struck me hard and pulled me in fast. I haven't had a reading experience this creepy, intense, and edge-of-your-seat since H.P. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness.” ―Paul Schwartz, UR Chicago
“Annihilation is smart, tense and utterly engrossing.” ―Mike Reynolds, Bookgasm
“Master of the literary headtrip Jeff VanderMeeer's Annihilation is simply unlike anything you've read before. It gnaws away at your nerves with a slow-building sense of dread and impending madness.” ―Marc Savlov, Kirkus
“VanderMeer both defies and challenges genre boundaries, forcing readers to forget about traditional tropes and clichés and simply enjoy the storytelling.” ―John DeNardo, Kirkus "Best Bets for Speculative Fiction Books, February 2014
“A gripping fantasy thriller, Annihilation is thoroughly suspenseful.” ―Heather Paulson, Booklist
“After their high-risk expedition disintegrates, it's every scientist for herself in this wonderfully creepy blend of horror and science fiction. . . . Speculative fiction at its most transfixing.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“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 Paulson, ALA Booklist (Starred Review)
“Brilliant . . . ever-more-terrifying, yet ever-more-transcendent . . . Using evocative descriptions of the biologist's outer and inner worlds, masterful psychological insight, and intellectual observations both profound and disturbing―calling Lovecraft to mind and Borges―VanderMeer unfolds a tale as satisfying as it is richly imagined.” ―Publishers Weekly
“In much of Jeff VanderMeer's work, a kind of radiance lies beating beneath the surface of the words. Here in Annihilation, it shines through with warm blazing incandescence. This is one of a grand writer's finest and most dazzling books.” ―Peter Straub, author of Lost Boy, Lost Girl
“One of those books where it all comes together―the story and the prose and the ideas, all braided into a triple helix that gives rise to something vibrant and alive. Something that grows, word-by-word, into powerful, tangled vines that creep into your mind and take hold of it. Annihilation is brilliant and atmospheric, a novel that has the force of myth.” ―Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe
“A dazzling book . . . haunted and haunting.” ―Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners
“A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unraveling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and a claustrophobic dread that linger long afterward. I loved it.” ―Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls
“The great thing about Annihilation is the strange, elusive, and paranoid world that it creates. . . I can't wait for the next one.” ―Brian Evenson, author of Last Days
“It's been a long time since a book filled me with this kind of palpable, wondrous disquiet, a feeling that started on the first page and that I'm not sure I've yet shaken.” ―Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods
“This swift surreal suspense novel reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world. The reader will want to stay trapped with the Biologist to find the answers to Area X's mysteries.” ―Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy
“Unsettling and un-put-downable like an old-fashioned adventure story, only weirder, beautifully written and not at all old-fashioned.” ―Karen Joy Fowler, BookPage
“The prose is phenomenal . . . it toyed with my imagination in ways that haven't happened since A Wrinkle in Time.” ―Madison Vain, Entertainment Weekly
“Its deepest terror lies in its exploration of . . . the human heart, and the terror that can grow from the ways in which we are untrue to each other, and to ourselves.” ―Jared Bland, The Globe and Mail
About the Author
Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America's American Fantastic Tales and in multiple year's-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I'm going to proceed with this review as if these three novels: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance, are one novel. Mostly for simplicity, but also because I believe that the best way to read these novels is back to back, as if they were parts of a single novel. Though they are very different from each other and explore different themes, characters, and even have slightly different styles, they are linked in ways that a typical trilogy is not. I like to think of them as three segments of a circle. While I'd think of a standard trilogy/series more like a dotted line.
Area X, or the Southern Reach Trilogy, is one of the finest novels I've ever read. Maybe not in my top 10 of all time (amongst Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, Dune, Catch 22...) but definitely in my top 20. It has everything a serious reader could possibly want in a novel: beautiful and evocative (if haunting) prose, distinct and complex characters, an unbelievably well realized setting, a mysterious and engaging story, and rich thought-provoking subtexts and themes. It just doesn't hold your hand, which can make it challenging at times. If you begin to read with the idea that you are setting off on a path into a thick wood at dusk, by Authority, the trail will be faint and the light of day near gone, and by Acceptance, you're lost, its full night, and there are sounds all around you, mostly from unknown sources. You light your lamp to see, but it's almost more terrifying in the gloom than in the dark.
And that leads us to what kind of book this is: it's a creepy one. In fact, a scene about midway through Authority is easily the creepiest scene I've ever read in any book - and I've read a lot of creepy books (honorable mention to the phone ringing in the Ruins).
Again though, this book isn't for everyone. I can't stress that enough. It simply has a different mission than a more mainstream novel. You wouldn't sit down to a John Grisham book and be like, 'not as good as The Sound and the Fury', that wouldn't make sense. If you sit down to Area X with those kinds of expectations and aren't ready for a quick turn to something dramatically different, it will fail you, and you it. Personally, I turned my reading into a kind of daily meditation. I found that I could only read it when my mind was fresh and at its sharpest, and even then, I'd catch myself continually wandering. The imagery and pace are seductive to mind wandering, and I simply pulled back, went back a few lines, and started again. This weird mindful reading and mindful awareness of my own crazy thoughts was a singular and very rewarding experience. As a result though, I had to read some ‘regular’ books on the side to relax in the evenings.
This is a must read if you think you can do it. Don't be afraid, just be prepared. I'm thrilled to have discovered VanderMeer and plan on reading his other works over the coming years.
Book 3 kind of picked up where 1 left off. While it adds to the reader’s understanding of some things, other things remain as opaque as ever. (I would be clearer if I could, but actually being specific would give away a lot of plot information. Sorry.)
I salute the author for resisting the popular mandate for answers, resolutions and explanations. Ambiguity, confusion and ignorance are driving forces in Nature that our storytelling, organizing brains constantly struggle against. (I won’t be giving away anything to note that this is the “meta” framework for both the book and the characters.)
My beef is more with how the author chose to use This Reader’s time. For This Reader there were stretches in all 3 books when the author seemed to tumble over the line between illuminating characters’ inner lives and endless rummaging thru the mental attic.
There were many things I liked about these books, chiefly the utter strangeness of the “invasion,” its impentrability to human analysis and the exhaustion and derangement of the human mind when confronted over a long period with phenomena it simply, profoundly cannot explain or comprehend.
In the end, though, these characters were so strangled and cerebral that I could seldom make an emotional connection. For me, that led to an ultimately unstatisfying read.
Most recent customer reviews
I really wanted to like this series, after reading good reviews, and picked...Read more
It spent too much time on trivia and didn't explain character depth of motivations in relation...Read more