Wednesday, May 16, 2018

ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

I liked this book, but did I like it enough to read the other two books in the trilogy?  Probably not.  Four women, identified only by their occupations, have come to Area X as the twelfth expedition there.  The biologist is the narrator whose husband was part of the previous expedition but returned home as a shell of his former self.  Area X is the site of an environmental contamination where things become weirder and weirder as the novel progresses.  There are two main landmarks—an underground tower that some view as a tunnel and a lighthouse.  Both are very spooky in their own way, but the other members of the expedition are even scarier--an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor.  The psychologist is the obvious leader, as she has the power to hypnotize the other three into doing her bidding.  Where exactly is Area X?  What is the purpose of all these expeditions?  Why is the tower/tunnel not on the maps?  What happens when you cross the border into and out of Area X?  We don’t know the answer to this last question because everyone on this expedition, except presumably the psychologist, was hypnotized for the border crossing.  Certainly these questions are all teasers for the books to come, but I’m not sure if I care.  The movie might be worth watching, though.

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