The latest expedition of Area X is about to begin. The team – a psychologist, an anthropologist, a surveyor, and a biologist – are all tasked with keeping detailed journals of their experiences and their observances. Strange things have been known to happen at Area X and it’s important that everything is carefully documented, especially after what happened to the last team.
Annihilation is the first installment in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. It’s a strange little book – and a dense one at that – that reads as the biologist’s journal of the expedition.
The reader very quickly realizes that the biologist isn’t necessarily trustworthy. Little is revealed about the previous events at Area X, mostly because the biologist is unaware of those details. She doesn’t know the true purpose of the expeditions or what happened to the eleventh team (hers is supposed to be the twelfth) even though she’s got a significant connection to the previous expedition.
All in all, Annihilation is a weird but undeniably intriguing read. It leaves the reader with more questions than answers, to be totally honest. Fortunately, book two, Authority, picks up immediately after Annihilation and book three, Acceptance, is out now in bookstores. This is definitely a series that lends itself well to binge reading if only so you can find out what’s really going on.
9/14 Becky Lejeune
ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer. FSG Originals; First Edition edition (February 4, 2014). ISBN 978-0374104092. 208p.