August 2015 Series of the Month.
I am an absolute sucker both for quest-through-the-wilderness tales, and for post-apocalyptic landscapes. Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation delivers both, in creepily brilliant and utterly unforgettable style. Narrated by an unnamed female biologist, it tells of a scientific expedition - the latest of many failed ventures - into a desolate wilderness known as Area X, where they hear a "low, powerful moaning" at dusk. "I would tell you the names of the other three, if it mattered," the biologist tells us, doomily, "but only the surveyor would last more than the next day or two." It all gets progressively more sinister and alien and uncanny and disastrous - I'm not sure I've read a book which scared me, and stayed with me so much, for years - with the story expanded on in the world outside Area X in the following two novels in VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, Authority and Acceptance. A slice of dreamily written, haunting literary science fiction flows through the whole trilogy. ~ Alison Flood
If J. J. Abrams, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Weisman collaborated on a novel ... it might be this awesome. 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 a biologist, who is our narrator. 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.Cover artwork (C) Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
|Publication date:||10th April 2018|
|Publisher:||Blackstone Publishing Blackstone Publishing|
|Primary Genre||Science Fiction|
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
Praise for ANNIHILATION and the SOUTHERN REACH TRILOGY:
'I'm loving the Southern Reach Trilogy ... Creepy and fascinating
'Hauntingly weird and brilliantly new ... These are contemporary masterpieces and career-defining novels'
Adam Robert, Books of the Year, Guardian
'This trilogy is a modern mycological masterpiece ... Remarkable ... Tense, eerie and unsettling ... VanderMeer writes much better prose than Poe ever did ... This is genuinely potent and dream-haunting writing. VanderMeer has arrived.'
'A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike ... Annihilation shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience'
'VanderMeer's novel is a psycho-geographical tour de force, channelling Ballard and Lovecraft to instil the reader with a deep, delicious unease'
'What a haunting book this is, lodging deep in the memory in similar fashion to otherworldly classics such as David Lindsay's A Voyage To Arcturus ... Annihilation is so disquietingly strange as to defy summarisation. Read it'
'Astonishing, frightening, spectacular ... The imaginative daring and reach with which VanderMeer has invented and executed a concept such as Area X is breathtaking ... Powerful and echoing ... I hope the trilogy will come to be seen not only as the instant sci-fi classic it is, but also as Literature'
'Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel ... A major work' ***** SFX Magazine 'A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot of Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterwards. I loved it'
'Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent'
Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and in multiple year’s-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.More About Jeff VanderMeer