Paperback | February 11, 2014

byJeff VanderMeer

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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

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization, and the government is involved in sending secret missions to explore Area X. 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.

Annihilation opens with the twelfth expedition. The group is composed of four women, including our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all of their observations, scientific and otherwise; and, above all, to avoid succumbing to the unpredictable effects of Area X itself.

What they discover shocks them: first, a massive topographic anomaly that does not appear on any map; and second, life forms beyond anything they're equipped to understand. But it's the surprises that came across the border with them that change everything-the secrets of the expedition members themselves, including our narrator. What do they really know about Area X-and each other?

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From the Publisher

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 pictureArea X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization, and the government is involved in ...

JEFF VANDERMEERis a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award. He has been nominated for the Hugo Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, the International Horror Guild Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His most recent books have made the year's best lists of Publishers Weekly, ...

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Authority: Book Two of the Southern Reach Trilogy
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Paperback|May 6 2014

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.5 × 5 × 0.63 inPublished:February 11, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443428396

ISBN - 13:9781443428392

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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Could not finish it This is quite a short book, but I still couldn't finish it. I really tried, read 100 pages, but I felt no attachment to any of the characters and no desire to find out what happened to them next. If you like reading books where you have no idea what is going on even when you are halfway through, then read this, but otherwise I would skip it.
Date published: 2015-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Annihilation I thought that this was a gripping, if somewhat frightening, read. The author leaked out details about the people, circumstances, surroundings, and "other things" with a contolled slowness that made it difficult to take a break.
Date published: 2015-01-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Promising but... Kept me reading for a while then it starts to ramble on and on and on... Hopefully the second book will bring back the tension.
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating A wondrous and insightful composition. I loved the introverted nature of the biologist, which complimented the tone of dilapidation and aloneness that is found in Area X. What a perfect character to analyze this anomaly-filled space. She embodies the sense of wonderment in discovery and the urge to make sense of the world around us.
Date published: 2014-10-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Would make a great movie In November, I was in Toronto for a blogger meet-up and before the Ottawa Blogettes headed over to the event we were lucky enough to enjoy a coffee with the gals from Harper Collins. Kaiti and Suman are down to earth and very easy to talk to. Many of the Ottawa gals read predominantly YA so it was nice to get a chance to chat about upcoming adult books with Kaiti. There were a few books that were coming out in 2014 that she recommended and among them was Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. I was quite excited when it showed up in my mailbox a few short months later. This novel has already been optioned for a movie and I can certainly see why. It focuses on an expedition to Area X. Little is known about Area X and all previous expeditions have not garnered much information. The book focuses on the 12 expedition which is comprised of four women. There is an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist and a biologist. The narrator of this story is the biologist and she describes a world that is intricate and interesting. The best part of this fairly short story is the incredible world building that Vandermeer does. We get to explore Area X as the narrator is exploring it and thus we are always kept in suspense about things. If the narrator is unaware of what creature lurks behind the creepy noises being made during the middle of the night, then we too are kept in the dark. Area X seems to be very organic and seems to have grown all on it's own. While the author does an amazing job at describing the creatures and seemingly intelligent plants in this novel, I think this would be an awesome thing to see in video format. The book is full of description but there is also quite a bit going on within a short period of time. It keeps the reader engaged and wanting to know more. This book is part of a trilogy and all books will be released in 2014. I must say that I am glad that I won't have to wait too long to figure out what's going on in this world. I would hate to have to wait for a year for the next installment of this story. My only dislike of the book was that it was difficult to connect with the narrator. You learn snippets about her life before Area X and you get to know her personality a bit while reading but it was difficult to really feel for her. Things tended to be very surface with this character. That being said, the narrator does have difficult making connections with those around her so this more than likely done intentionally. Regardless of that, I think I would have liked this novel even more if I could have felt empathy for this character. Overall, I quite enjoyed this book and I will definitely be reading the rest of this series.
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Horror fantasy that grabs and holds This book reminds me most of Solaris, a book and film about an ill-fated trip to Mars (I think Mars, anyway). An expedition arrives at the site of exploration. They believe they are the 12th such expedition, but soon find out there have been more. The small team does not bond, and in fact comes quickly to suspicion. Vague threats Are everywhere. There are mysterious towers and lighthouses to be explored. Nature is like something from Van Gogh's Starry Night painting. The end is equally mysterious, but not frustrating. I am keen to open the next book, wondering if it will be equally mysterious, or will turn new soil.
Date published: 2014-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Annihilation Looking forward to books 2&3
Date published: 2014-06-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Annihilation Very readable but just did not connect with the character. Probably should have been titled Assimilation instead.
Date published: 2014-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting start... Well written Great writing... Good premise... Like how the author really got in to the biologists head... The character's flat analytic view though kills some of the potential excitement... A lush landscape but shrink wrapped... Will read the next one with interest... 4 stars for the writing...
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surreal An engrossing read that takes place in a haunting, dreamy and surreal landscape. Vandermeer's writing is beautifully descriptive. Looking forward to the next installment.
Date published: 2014-03-18

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for Annihilation:

""A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot 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