Book Review: Annihilation

Posted on Feb 28, 2021 - 0 min read

Annihilation is a captivating story about exploring the unknown, self discovery, and survival. It is less a story and more a personal account of a biologist’s experiences once she enters what is known as Area X. A mysterious coastal territory, Area X is the epicenter of some great natural calamity.

Something happened here, something that is changing life; blending it, making something new. Every expedition that has been sent into Area X has died or returned “changed” in some way. Annihilation follows the events of the twelfth expedition.

What I found super interesting about the way the story was told was that the narrator is unreliable, meaning what she tells you may sometimes be half truths or incomplete accounts. This, coupled with the rest of the strangeness of the world that is Area X, makes for an engrossing story.

Characters experience the world in different ways. What one character experiences as a “tower” another may experience as a “tunnel.”

What actually happened here? Why are things changing in this way?

The film based on the book is only loosely based on this book. It takes some of the overarching themes and plot points, but the main story is completely different. Annihilation is the first of the Southern Reach Trilogy, written by Jeff VanderMeer, and is only about 200 pages long which makes for a very quick read. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick fiction fix.

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