Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer is an unsettling story about a group of women that are sent into “Area X.” The reason why they are there is unclear. They know that there are dangers. They know they may not survive. And yet, they enter the area with a sense of excitement and fascination, ready to see what happens next.
This is the first book that I read for Sci-Fi Summer Readathon. I’ll be diving into the other books in the series next, so stay tuned for my reviews on those!
Let’s dive into my review!
My Thoughts on Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer
Right from page one, there was an awesome sense of fascination, but an equally powerful sense of dread. As the story unfolded, these feelings intensified.
I was so interested in the overall plot. It was a bit like reading a book based on a fever dream; I wasn’t totally sure what was going on, but I was still really curious about everything.
One element that was really interesting, but also incredibly unnerving, was that the team was rather quickly becoming affected by some sort of supernatural force that surrounded them. I really enjoyed this mix of sci-fi and horror!
I also really enjoyed the atmosphere of the setting. It was so unusual, and there was a horror-vibe that just didn’t let up. You never knew what was around the next corner or what was hiding in the reeds.
I will admit that while I was reading this one, I really struggled to stay engaged. Perhaps I picked this up at a bad time… I just couldn’t help it; my mind kept wandering and I had to reread many paragraphs over and over again.
However, in the second half of the book, things picked up for me. There was one scene toward the end that had me so hooked that when my husband came up behind me and kissed the top of my head, I jumped and almost spilled my tea!
My Favorite Passages from Annihilation
Curiosity could be a powerful distraction.
During our hike from the border to the base camp near the coast, we had experienced almost nothing out of the ordinary. The birds sang as they should; the deer took flight, their white tails exclamation points against the green and brown of the underbrush; the raccoons, bowlegged, swayed about their business, ignoring us. As a group, we felt almost giddy, I think, to be free after so many confining months of training and preparation. While we were in that corridor, in that transitional space, nothing could touch us. We were neither what we had been nor what we would become once we reached our destination.
Was this the moment when we were supposed to stop her? To come up with some other plan? If so, none of us had the nerve.
When you were too close to the center of a mystery there is no way to pull back and see the shape of it entire.
What can you do when your five senses are not enough?
My Final Thoughts on Annihilation
This is a book that I think I need to re-read in order to better understand it. Like I said above, it was a bit like a fever dream. But now that I know the ending, I’m curious to see what I could learn the second time around.
That being said, I still really enjoyed this tale, especially the second half of the book!
I would definitely recommend this one to readers that enjoy sci-fi horror, but who don’t mind a bit of confusion.
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Thanks for reading!
Have you read this book or watched the film yet? If so, what did you think of them? I’ve just requested the film from my local library and can’t wait to watch!