Staff Book Review: Annihilation
Book Title: Annihilation
Author: Jeff VanderMeer
Review: Annihilation paints an interesting portrait of a difficult person struggling to capture a series of extraordinary events. It’s the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy (the Library also owns Authority, the second book. Book three, Acceptance, comes out in September).
This book is a story told through a field report written by an unnamed biologist who partway through the book mentions that she is extremely bad about putting crucial information into field reports. This field report is about the 12th expedition to Area X, which is a wild area which seems completely untouched by humanity.
People who have returned from the previous expeditions have come back wrong. They suddenly show up at home, without clearing any checkpoints and seemingly under the noses of the expedition leaders, and some of them are irrevocably changed.
Our narrator arrives hoping to understand more about an unknown ecosystem, but she stumbles across strange occurrences that make her question her methodology, employers, and the purpose behind Area X. Fast-paced and suspenseful, Annihilation packs a punch in less than 200 pages. Part adventure story, part introspection into human relationships, I’ll definitely pick up the sequel to find out where the story goes from here.
Reviewed by: Stephanie F.