Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Hi! Welcome to my review for Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer!

The Spoiler-Free Review:

We follow four women into Area X – an area which had suddenly been overtaken by nature. Each expedition they send into Area X returns with different opinions of the place. One says it’s beautiful, the seconded ended in mass suicide, and the third with gunfire as the members turned their guns to each.

The expedition the book follows is comprised out of the Biologist, the Psychologist, the Anthropologist, and the Surveyor. They aren’t given any actual names, so in my review I’ll just refer to them as I previously named them.

I’m sure you can understand my curiosity regarding this book since it’s got everything I wanted: mysterious and otherworldly.

Right from the beginning, I could feel the haunting atmosphere the author created. It was creepy, the sense of never knowing hanging over me, and I couldn’t stop reading. This was a short read and I read it in one morning but it was worth it!

The story was slowly building up to its climax but all these little things happened along the way that made it impossible for me to put the book down.

The writing was smooth and detached, which surprisingly helped the story move along easier.

There weren’t any emotional moments but the deep quotes the author dropped here and there were enjoyable and probably part of the reason why I waited so long to write this review.

After this book, you have to go sit in a corner and think deep about you just read.

I’d definitely recommend it to people who want a book to make them think!

The Review Full of Spoilers:

You have been warned. And also, as I’m still trying to get my head around this book, I have to warn you that this review might possibly be me spewing a lot of nonsense.

Good Underlying Themes/ Messages:

I didn’t really find lots of themes in this book but the two themes that were really prominent was that what you see isn’t always what’s true. Once you inspect it closer, it’s something else entirely. And also, just because something seems irrational, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.

Half a star for this catagory.

Interesting Story:

As I mentioned previously, from the very beginning, the atmosphere was haunting. The feeling of never really knowing what’s going on can be addicting in a book, and that feeling is threaded right throughout this entire book.

I have to admit that at times I didn’t really understand what was going on, possibly because I was reading too fast, I just wasn’t paying enough attention that day, or because I was just at home, sick and tired.

The ending, with the biologist getting in a boat and go in search of her maybe-still-living husband ( if I understood correctly?), really surprised me and left me pleased.

I think the fact that I understood so little of this story added to the creepy feeling of the story and for that, I applaud the author.

A whole star for this catagory!

Realistic Characters and Growth:

Our narrator, the Biologist, was really raw and deep with everything she thought. We find out that her husband had been to Area X and that he had returned, not really as he was before.

She did what she had to to survive and I respected that. I also get the feeling that she was and has been going through a lot without any emotional outbursts.

The rest of the expedition, the Surveyor, the Anthropologist, and the Psychologist, we don’t really get a lot from but it’s enough to get a sense of who they are. I just wish we had gotten to see more of them, though.

This book alone is a bit short for clear character growth but I will say that I think that after the Biologist had entered Area X, she seems to have a goal. With her talking about her previous life, it felt like she had been drifting around with not much to do.

And now she’s like…

0.75 stars for this catagory.

Fantastic Worldbuilding:

The author strives to create this area that has been overrun by nature, but has also been overrun by something almost supernatural.

The way the author describes the place and the creatures inhabiting it, I feel like I understand at the same time I don’t understand.

Confused? So am I.

But it all just adds to the otherworld-ness of this book.

A whole star for this catagory!

Writing Style Is Easy To Read/ Beautiful:

The way the author writes is almost like the narrator is detached from the entire situation but believe it or not, it’s better that way.

If you think to deep about this book and analize it too much, you won’t understand a thing.

A whole star for this catagory!

That’s it!

4.25 stars out of 5!

Wow! What did you think of Annihilation?

Some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go sit in my corner and think some more.

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