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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain


Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐

"Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world 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 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 another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—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."


Annihilation is the first installment in the sci-fi Southern Reach series by Jeff VanderMeer.

I don't have any strong feelings towards this really. It is mildly interesting but for the most part I just cruised on through without much emotion. I will say though that I think that the movie adaptation worked better than the book.

First of all, with the book, none of the character's names are known and are referred to by their profession. While this makes sense, as a reader there was a disconnect as without a name I found that I didn't care about the characters.

Second of all, you are thrown right into the story without much background information as to what was going on and why they are in the situation they are in. Again, while this makes sense as the reader learns as the characters explore, it didn't make y reading experience any easier as I wanted answers.

Lastly, the sense of strangeness and the unknown was more effective in the film. In the book if something strange happened I was like 'well okay then', and I kept on going.

I'm not really interested in seeing how the rest of the books builds on this story, so I will not be finishing the series.

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