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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.
I realize as I’m writing this that I have been on a science fiction kick. With this book and the Themis Files and others that are up next on my TBR list. This was a book I found while I was browsing suggestions from my library on my ebook/audiobook library app. They have a list of books that are / will be made into movies and Annihilation was on that list. It sounded super interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.
I’m glad I did give it a try because I enjoyed it immensely. I read this ebook in two days. Lately, I’ve been reading much slower because I have a baby to take care of and I’m trying to make sure school is my priority before I let myself get lost in books. I’ve been super good about it too. But I let myself read at night when my baby wakes me up for feedings.
I almost had to stop reading last night while I was feeding because the story got a little bit spooky for me to be reading in the dark in the middle of the night. There were certainly some creepy parts and a few that just gave me the chills. The author did a great job of portraying how our narrator was feeling. I really enjoyed how this book was written. For this story, we’re reading the journal of a biologist that is venturing into Area X on the twelfth expedition. The only information we get is from this biologist, in her journal which is full of only what she learns or decides to share with us. I liked this, but it’s also frustrating because the reader is barely getting any of the big pictures, we only know as much as our narrator/main character knows (which isn’t all that much in this case).
The only thing I didn’t like was this lack of information. I liked the setup and how the story was told, I just wish that our narrator had learned more and had the supplies and opportunity to figure out more of the situation. The book ended and I still have many questions.
I liked the narrator. I really liked that we’re reading her journal because it feels like we’re really getting to know who she is. I know there are two more books but I think they are told from other perspectives. I’m hoping that we will meet the biologist once again in these later books.
This story was certainly mysterious and interesting. My questions kept me interested, wondering what the biologist was going to do/learn next. Overall, I liked the characters though we really only saw development from our narrator. I loved the idea behind the story. It’s creative and kept me wanting more. I’m excited to read the next book!
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.
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2 thoughts on “Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer”