Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

by Jeff Vandermeer

Annihilation is the first volume in The Southern Reach trilogy by author Jeff Vandermeer. It is also the source material for a new feature film, scheduled for release later in February 2018, starring Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac and Gina Rodriguez (among others). Annihilation is part thriller, part scifi and part horror. A team of four female scientists is being sent into a mysterious, isolated geographic area to explore a mystery there — something that has led to disaster for 11 previous expeditions. Some…event…occured in this space, and inexplicable things have been happening in the area since. The previous expeditions either didn’t return, or went mad, or came back changed…and the area with these effects may be expanding.

The tone is a cross between the science fiction adventure novels of years gone by and the gradually increasing dread of a H.P. Lovecraft novel, with its unspeakable horrors. Events of the story also leave the reader wondering about the reliability of the central narrator. I’ll admit, I was a bit disappointed in the number of details that were left hanging by the end of this volume, but I do find myself very invested in finding out what happens next, so I’m sure I’ll be reading Authority and Acceptance soon to see how Vandermeer expands and concludes the story. In the meantime, I’ve very curious to see how this first book gets turned into a feature film!

[ Wikipedia entry for The Southern Reach Trilogy ] | [ official Jeff Vandermeer web site ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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