books, Reviews

Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer


Date read: 30th April 2018 – 1st May 2018

Page count: 195

Genre: Horror/Science Fiction

Format: Paperback (Library)

Rating: 5/5

If you’ve read my reviews of The Boy On The Bridge and The Girl With All The Gifts then you’ll know that I have an ever so teeny soft spot for horror. I’m also a pretty big fan of Stephen King (see my review for Carrie here!), but my main horror-related passion is off-the-wall, interesting, often a little science-fiction-y horror.

Annihilation fits into exactly that category. It’s a little bit creepy, very interesting, gory in the right places, and leaves just enough questions to keep you hooked until the very end.

Area X has remained a mystery for thirty years, and eleven separate expeditions into the ether. Yet nobody knows what lies beyond the border, not yet, and little by little, time is running out. Annihilation is the story of the twelfth expedition into Area X, manned by four women – an anthropologist, a psychologist, a surveyor and, our narrator, a biologist.

We read the story through the biologist’s entries in her notebook, which makes her into that quintessential reliable narrator that is always another key ingredient in my perfect story. We have no idea if she is trustworthy, or actually retelling events accurately. It’s all left to the imagination of the reader.

Area X is also largely left to our own interpretations – although a description is given of the area itself, we don’t know much about what actually goes on in there. Once again, unreliable narrator, and just a lack of knowledge overall.

This is the first in a three-part series, so I assume that more concrete answers come further down the line, with the new characters. However, the sense of mystery and terror that Annihilation leaves you with is immense.

I gave this book a definite five stars out of five, without question. I just wish more books were like this…

There is a Netflix movie coming out of this soon, although I personally won’t be watching it. A few reviews I read said it was too far removed from the book to be enjoyable in the same way (I looked up a synopsis and didn’t think much of it too). But let me know what you do think if you do choose to watch it! 

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