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; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another.Read more...
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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; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition 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 weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The 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, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, 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.
- ISBN-13: 9780374104092
- ISBN-10: 0374104093
- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Publish Date: February 2014
- Page Count: 195
- Dimensions: 7.45 x 5.34 x 0.54 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.33 pounds
Series: Southern Reach Trilogy #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-23
- Reviewer: Staff
The unnamed narrator of this brilliant first in a trilogy from fantasy author Vandermeer (City of Saints and Madmen) tells of her ever-more-terrifying, yet ever-more-transcendent experiences, as she, a biologist, and the three other members of her all-women team (a surveyor, an anthropologist, and a psychologist) set out to explore Area X, for some unspecified number of years deliberately isolated from its surroundings. Theirs is the 12th expedition to Area X, sent two years after the last attempt; the team hopes to discover why the zone, so lush and beautiful at first look, is a place from which none return—at least not in the same form that they entered. 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. Agent: Sally Harding, Cooke Agency. (Feb.)