Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Books ready in 2017: No. 39 -- Annihilation: Book I of The Southern Reach Trilogy

by Jeff Vandermeer

Started: Oct. 30
Finished: Oct. 31

Notes: I've been reading so much older fiction lately, I thought I'd switch things up and go for something modern. I'm familiar with Vandermeer's work as an editor, but I've not read any of his writing, at least not in the long form. This novel has proven rather popular, and it is my understanding a movie is soon to be released, so now I'll discover what all the hubbub is about.

Mini review: While not extremely short, this is a fast, easy, breezy read perfect for a modern audience. There are a lot of secrets in this novel, so many that most are not explained, or if explained, then the explanation itself is somewhat vague. An expedition of four women is sent into a mysterious Area X where other expeditions have been sent in the past, most of which have not returned due to homicide, suicide or just plain old disappearance. Of the former expedition members who have returned, they have been shades of their former selves with little to no memory of what happened to them in Area X. This tale is told by a biologist, her account of what she witnessed in Area X. Overall, I enjoyed this book, and I see why it's popular. I have two minor problems, the first being that despite the ease of the text's flow, I did feel the story slowed too much in a few places, and secondly, I found the ending far too ambiguous, though I suppose the other novels in this trilogy will explain more. There are potentially shades of Lovecraft here, though not quite the darkness of such stories. This story reminded me a bit of the TV show "LOST" from a few years back, and somewhat of Scott Smith's horror novel, The Ruins.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely enjoyed The Ruins. Will eventually pick this up