Annihilation : Southern Reach Trilogy

  • by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by Carolyn McCormick
  • Series: Southern Reach Trilogy
  • 6 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

If J.J. Abrams and Margaret Atwood collaborated on a novel, it might look something like Annihilation, the first in an extraordinary trilogy. Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilisation.
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 our narrator, a biologist. 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. 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.

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What the Critics Say

"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." (Lauren Beukes, award-winning author of Zoo City and The Shining Girls)
"Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent." (Warren Ellis)
"One of those books where it all comes together - the story and the prose and the ideas, all braided into a triple helix that gives rise to something vibrant and alive. Something that grows, word-by-word, into powerful, tangled vines that creep into your mind and take hold of it. Annihilation is brilliant and atmospheric, a novel that has the force of myth." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Didn't like the narrator

The narrator has a very odd way of reading which made the story quite hard to follow. Her intonation was all over the place, yet her pace and volume stayed the same, even in dramatic or suspenseful moments. The overall effect was one of emotionlessness. I am not sure if this was a conscious decision on her part (given that the protagonist is a scientist writing an expedition journal this would make sense) but it didn't work for me at all.
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- Amazon Customer

Abstract, muddled waste of time

I really had to push myself to finish this book. I found the author's writing style to be abstract to the point of frustration. I don't know how someone could express so many words to convey absolutely no useful information. No feeling of closure by the end of the book, simply relief that its over. Will not be reading the rest of the series.
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- B. Daniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-27-2014
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited