Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy
Annihilation is the first volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is the second, and Acceptance is the third.
Area X—a remote and lush terrain—has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the memb...more
If you have heard good but vague praise about this book and are considering reading it, I would suggest passing. This book seems not to realise that we live in a Post-Lost world and on network TV (not even cable) everybody & their grandmoth ...more
You're never on firm ground because reality is on a shift. There were twelve expeditions. Then someone talks about the first fifth expedition (it may have been the first eighth, I forget), so how many total?
It has the most compelling description of washing a mouse that I've ever read. Okay, yeah, the only one that I've ever read.
Parts reminded me of Blood Music and House of Leaves. Another reviewer said that it reminded him most of To the Lighthouse, so I'll move that up o ...more
It should've been better. Vaguely post-apocalyptic, focusing on a weird dimension that exists just one step to the side of our ...more
The first book, Annihilation, has by far the tightest and most coherent plot. In it, we follow an unnamed biologist as she journeys into ‘Area X’, ...more
Another note: this series works the best if you chain-read all three parts (as this one book, or the three books available separately). I feel that all are needed to be read to see what the quality of the story is for the reader, thus for me this was 4 stars.
A little over 30 years ago, a part of (possibly, slightly) southeastern coast of US was cut off from rest of the world, today known as Area X. It has since been observed by government agency Southern ...more
Jeff VanderMeer's books are always difficult to describe and review. I love where that man's brain goes: his weird and atmospheric stories have a way of sticking to my mind in the most haunting way. "The Southern Reach" trilogy had been on my shelf for a while, and I got so excited seeing the previews of the upcoming "Annihilation" movie adaptation (see thoughts about the movie at the end of the review) that I abandoned other books for this on ...more
In some ways, speculative fiction often balances precariously on the boundary between detective fiction and horror. Some books--hard scifi is a prime example--seek to make a world that they can explain. No matter how be ...more
The first book is just interesting enough to make me keep going to it's very unsatisfying end. Sadly, the writing is not unlike what you might encounter in a freshman ...more
The second book, Authority, is a three-star meandering follow up. Everything that made the first books so incredible is missing in this installment. The writing is fluffy, aimless, and unnecessarily detailed. Where in the f ...more
So when I started this audiobook and the narrator seemed rather dry and monotone, I considered giving this one up to a later date when I could be more with it. You know, when I wouldn't be lulled to sleep while I drive. But no, I trudged along. I'd been putting this 26 hr monstrosity off long enough. So when things didn't seem to improve an ...more
I completely agree with Dustin's Review: "Literary in ambition and new weird in execution, the writing and ideas pull you ...more
The first book was decent, probably a 3 star rating.....but the rest was utter torture. I really really wanted to find out what was going on...so I pushed on...and on....and on. I have been forcing myself to read this book for way too long...3 weeks at least and I am SO over it.
Don't waste your time. ...more
Authority: 3.5 stars? I was interested in the story but it took so long to actually get through it. I read most of Annihilation in a single day but with Authority I’d sit down, prepared to read 100 pages, and struggle to get through 20. I think I’d have to read it again to truly appreciate it.
Acceptance: 4-ish stars. I still don’t understand but I think that’s the point. The beauty is in the mystery, and there are no answers because there can’t be answers. This is definitely ...more
(And sorry if this is a bit of a short rambling review, but this book is really hard to analyze in a straightforward manner for me.)
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." These immortal words were written by legendary horror guru HP Lovecraft. And they accurately sum up the entirety of this trilogy.
Everything about this trilogy is designed to make readers uncomfortable, and warp their expectations of what ...more
Other than that, this trilogy had all the things that I look for in a good book of this/these genre/s. The post-cataclysmic after-human milieu; the constant sense of mystery and mutability; the quasi-rel ...more
The format of a trilogy, I think, automatically conjures associations with an 'epic', but just the fact that he took the concept of an epic and made ...more
It just wasn't THAT good.
This could possibly be a situation of very high expectations and good but not very high delivery; I may not be giving the trilogy the credit it deserves. I will say that the investment i ...more
Annihilation - Very strong, creepy condensed novel that feels dangerous and mysterious.
Authority - Office drama about the people who study Area X which is incredibly uninteresting.
Acceptance - The return to Area X is sort of a miasma of unsatisfying answers and implications to interesting questions.
Annihilation is a very good novel. I didn't like it as much as I expected, but t ...more