Review: Annihilation

annihilationAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
(Goodreads reviews)

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.

This being the first of a trilogy, I am hesitant about how I feel about it. At face value, it wasn’t much of a book – really slow at times, overly murky descriptions, and random sequences of events that are uninteresting at best. There are moments of dread, true, but just moments. The “fear” doesn’t saturate the book and when it arrives you are left wondering how you got there, which is unsettling but also just confusing. If the other two volumes are as short as this, the project would have been better served as one larger stand alone. After what I just plodded through, roaming Area X (really, that’s what the “lost space” is called) without rhyme or reason or clue, I am very hesitant to go plodding off into the second book. There is a lot a person can read into this book but if I wanted a Rorschach experience, I would have read poetry…




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