Annihilation

Annihilation

eBook - 2014 | First Canadian edition.
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Eleven secret government expeditions and few have returned unscathed--the first book in VanderMeer's exciting new Southern Reach Trilogy and soon to be a major motion picture.
Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Canada, 2014.
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443428408
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (195 pages)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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isaachar
Aug 18, 2018

I purposefully avoided the highly recommended movie until I read the original novel. While I have only read the first book in the series, I have to say I really enjoyed a lot of it. At the same time, there were definitely a couple of things I did not like as much. Other reviewers have described Annihiliation as having an almost Lovecraftian horror vibe, and in my opinion that comparison is spot on. A particular Lovecraft short story, "The Colour out of Space", shares a lot in common with Annihiliation. A strange an indescribable area where plant and animal life experience horrific changes. Changes that also effect people who observe them. Annihilation is almost a modern re-telling of the 89 year old tale. As with the lovecraftian tale, I enjoyed the psychological horror aspects oin this tale. The main character can be seen as unendearing due to her being a social introvert, but I actually found that refreshing. She knows who she is, and withstands pressure to change or pretend to be a person she isn't just to fit in.
As great a read as it is, the thing I enjoyed least about the novel has been brought up by other reviewers as well. The overall story plays out like the first few seasons of LOST. The questions pile up, but no explanation or background is given. It felt as if the author wanted the reader to come up with their own explanation of what's going on and why. There's nothing wrong with that kind of storytelling, but it needs a strong ending that gives a purpose to the story. In that aspect, Annihilation fails a bit. I finished the book thinking "Well that was pretty trippy, but it was just a story about someone visiting a place I know nothing about, for no explanable reason, to which nothing was resolved". Its a fun ride, but the substance of what you went through fades as the ending putters out. I still plan on reading the sequels though, so the story did its job in hooking me in at least.

b
B_Strong
Aug 09, 2018

This is close to a 3.5 for me.

I thought the idea of the story was really cool, and I loved that the characters don't have names, and are just referred to by their occupation.

But, I just felt that the story was...slow. And I didn't feel very connected to the main character or sucked into her story. It was like reading an old expedition journal or something.

Overall, the concept and the theme of the novel was really cool, but I don't think I'll continue on with the series.

k
Kjkittrell
Jul 28, 2018

This is the best book in the trilogy, it gives one the creeps as you go through the story,because we don't really know what is out at the site the women are investigating. Would have been better as a graphic novel.

g
gidkid
Jul 25, 2018

I loved this book as it didn't conform to the normal "sci-fi" mold in many ways. It's less about world building and the author trying to wow you with their imagination of physical places, and more about the thoughts that take place in the mind of the main character and the complexities of what motivates their actions.

If you want a book that takes you on some roller-coaster ride in strange and exotic locations with three headed aliens and funny inside nerd jokes (which I love), this is not that book.

I described it to a friend as a lonely version of the show "Lost" seasons 1-3 and I mean that in the best of ways, and also as a warning to anyone who can't stand the idea of such a story.

d
dwlueth
Jul 16, 2018

I read this book much faster than I usually do. I found the pace and level of character development perfect. I find many books are read are too long with details that are not necessary. I loved that the author kept this book the perfect length for this story. I am excited to read the next book in the series.

SCL_Jenny Jul 09, 2018

This is a great book that really knows how to do unsettling well. I didn't like the writing style at first, I found it dense and overly-descriptive, but I got used to it the further I went along. And then it was so creepy and engaging that the style didn't matter at all to me. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy!

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MaxCW26
Jul 06, 2018

Great book. Looking forward to reading the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy.

p
pspice
Jun 18, 2018

I'm with lecopaw and Alfred367. I bought the trilogy and am donating it to the library. Very dense, mega-descriptive sentences and passages. Difficult to follow. Strangely enough, I did finish all 3 but, even now knowing the ending (?), it left me unsatisfied. I will not check out another book by this author.

l
lucasey
May 30, 2018

unsettling, creative sci-fi mystery

OLATHEAllisonB May 25, 2018

A slow burning story with Lovecraftian elements, "Annihilation" is vague and unsettling. Vandermeer does a nice job describing just enough of the setting and beings in Area X so that it is up to the reader to imagine what they might look like, which can be far more frightening than being explicitly told how they look. But the most chilling parts of this book are the interactions among the 4 human women who make up the exploratory team in Area X. No names are used and everyone, including the main character, are referred to by their job titles in the outside world (although one of them may have another secret role that is never fully explained). Sinister mysteries lie beneath the events of the plot, pointing to the promise of learning more in the rest of the series. This is not a book for those who prefer clearly outlined stories with predictable checkpoints and a neatly-tied-up ending, but it is a short and interesting read.

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Pipthekat
May 07, 2018

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Sam_Stewart
Apr 07, 2018

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Feb 24, 2017

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Jun 23, 2015

red_cobra_341 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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