REVIEW - Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Title: Annihilation

Author: Jeff VanderMeer

Publisher: Fourth Estate
If J.J. Abrams and Margaret Atwood collaborated on a novel, it might look something like ‘Annihilation’, the first in an extraordinary trilogy.
For thirty years, Area X, monitored by the secret agency known as the Southern Reach, has remained mysterious and remote behind its intangible border– an environmental disaster zone, though to all appearances an abundant wilderness. Eleven expeditions have been sent in to investigate; even for those that have made it out alive, there have been terrible consequences.
‘Annihilation’ is the story of the twelfth expedition and is told by its nameless biologist. Introverted but highly intelligent, the biologist brings her own secrets with her. She is accompanied by a psychologist, an anthropologist and a surveyor, their stated mission: to chart the land, take samples and expand the Southern Reach’s understanding of Area X.
But they soon find out that they are being manipulated by forces both strange and all too familiar. An unmapped tunnel is not as it first appears. An inexplicable moaning calls in the distance at dusk. And while each member of the expedition has surrendered to the authority of the Southern Reach, the power of Area X is far more difficult to resist.
‘Annihilation’ is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, which will be published throughout 2014: volume two (’Authority’) in May, and volume three (’Acceptance’) in September 2014.

I don't think I could describe in any coherent way this book, it is crazy, good crazy but like the synopis above says JJ Abrams would be right at home here.

This won't be a long review as once I finished reading this book I was a bit WTF just happened. Seriously I'm still not entirely sure but I do know it scared me, it intrigued me and it creeped me out, OMG it seriously gave me the shivers.

An expedition is sent in to Area X, all women, all nameless, they are scientists and they are set to investigate this strange wilderness where eleven expeditions have been before and not all of them have come back.

To get in to Area X they have to hypnotised, on arrival they discover a lush green area, the same area they have learnt about and they set about surveying it and this when the creepy factor kicks in.

Our narrator, the biologist, and her colleagues discover what she calls a tower, it is actually a tunnel as her snarky co-workers point out. Whatever it is,it is strange and dark, and deep.  What will they do? Go in to it of course!

The tunnel/tower is just plain freaky, it is described as breathing and the discovery of organic writing on the wall that seems to circle down the tower gets them intrigued (and me getting increasingly WTF'd).

Of course being scientists they need to explore further, but things get stranger still, our narrator discovers that they are being hypnotised by the psychologist and she is immune to it, things get even stranger when one by one they vanish to turn up dead.

What the hell is the place they are in?

I'm still not entirely sure, but I love crazy, weird things so this was great but strange at the same time.

You really need to read it, my review will not do it justice , it is exquisite in its craziness. A must read!

Thanks to 4th Estate for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. I haven't heard of this one before. But I must admit I am intrigued with the JJ Abrams comparison. I'll have to check this one out.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

  2. This is different from what I normally read, but it does have a great sound to it. I like the combination here. :)

    Thank you!

    1. It is just a total, what is going on kinda book, but in a good way!

  3. Strange is good. But only if I had at least a tiny grasp of what I'd just read. :)

    1. You do get a little grasp but it is a what on earth kind of read!

  4. Ohhh mind twistery books?! I SO NEED TO TRY THIS THEN. I haven't read a lot of books like this, but I love the ones that just leave you going "BUT HEY WHAT". XD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  5. I like VanDerMeer's steampunk, so I'll give this one a try. It sounds really interesting.


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