A Novel

Book - 2014
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Area X has claimed the lives of members of eleven expeditions. The twelfth expedition consisting of four women hopes to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780374104092
Branch Call Number: SF VANDERMEER
Characteristics: 195 pages ; 19 cm


From Library Staff

In theaters February 23, 2018.

In theaters February 23, 2018.

AL_KATI Mar 14, 2017

Compelling sci-fi that brought to mind "The Island of Doctor Moreau." Plus it'll be a movie starring Natalie Portman coming out in 2017!

List - Books to Screen 2018
AL_TIEGAN Jun 02, 2017

Movie release: February 23, 2018. Will star Natalie Portman, Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez, and Tessa Thompson.

Movie -- Release Date: February 23, 2018 -- Starring: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac

From the critics

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Apr 11, 2018

I have not read the novel, but the film with Natalie Portman was taken from this novel.
The story follows a Johns Hopkins doctor and professor who teaches advanced genetics (biology). She specializes in mutated growth of cells. Lena is more than a biologist though, she was a combat soldier for seven years. That's where she met her soldier husband Kane. As the story begins, Lena is mourning the loss of her husband Kane as he has been missing in action for over a year. She blames herself for his death because she was having an affair with a coworker when her husband left on this last mission and he knew it was a suicidal mission. So she suspects Kane knew about the affair. When Kane appears at their home she's elated. That soon turns to horror as within 24 hours Kane is dying from internal hemorrhaging and there's no explanation. As the ambulance is taking him to the hospital, a fleet of black SUVs force the ambulance off-road and take Kane and Lena to Area X, an unknown location in the southern US near an alien meteor. This alien meteor landed near a lighthouse on the southern coast three years ago and has been spreading. The military has sent in multiple expeditions; they have all disappeared. No one has ever come back. This time, the military has put together a team of women to go in and Lena joins them hoping to find a way to save her husband. I'm not a fan of Natalie Portman, but she shines in this film as a woman ravaged with guilt who can't get on with her life. The science wasn't spectacular. If you don't have an advanced degree in Biology you probably won't mind. I miss Michael Crichton. He researched his scientific topics well and always had clear science behind his science fiction. This one really didn't but I still enjoyed the film. Having not read the novel, I can only assume it must be pretty good to inspire the film. At the very least it is truly a unique story. The ultimate question at the end is this: was the meteor probe sent as a tool of research? Or a weapon?

Apr 09, 2018

I am among the minority of commenters who found this boring. None of the characters behave in a believable manner, even so far as I can tell before they enter Area X. The long expositions of a narrator of questionable sanity can be tedious to follow unless you are committed to the series.

This is not science fiction, except to people who don't distinguish between science fiction, fantasy, and mysticism.

Needless to say,I am abandoning the trilogy.

Apr 07, 2018

four female scientists travel to Area X were anything could happen. This science fiction thriller was so interesting I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Mar 30, 2018

This book is led by a... frankly mentally unstable character who isn't entirely sure of what is real and what isn't, and many questions are formed from her instability. Over all a great read.

marycatlyons Mar 30, 2018

A very different read. It's not written in the traditional style and may leave some readers a bit lost and hurt at times as we can't trust our narrator. But I would say it's worth at least one read. It gives you quite a few things to think about that's for sure.

Mar 30, 2018

Recommended by Kiana

Mar 22, 2018

I first became interested in this book after seeing the trailer for the movie. Annihilation was probably the most terrifying book I've read in years. And the movie was just as terrifying! There's something... off... about the story, something not right about the entirety of it all. And I loved how the author Jeff VanderMeer created a storyline that made me feel... molecularly wrong. So far, my favorite book of the year. I would say it follows a good Lovecraft strain.

SPPL_Kristen Mar 21, 2018

Make sure you have a good chunk of time carved out when you sit down to read it, because you're not going stop once you start.

Feb 28, 2018

I haven't read this book yet but I just saw the film so I'll comment on that in case readers of this are interested. The mood and frequency of flashbacks reminded me of Arrival (based on Ted Chiang's short story "Story of Your Life"), another speculative sci-fi involving contact but focusing on something else. The premise is problematic for technical reasons and the ending gets a bit weird so overall I'd say the film was just ok.

liljables Feb 26, 2018

The Southern Reach trilogy has been on my radar for a couple of years, so when I saw all three (!!!) titles sitting together at a used bookstore, I took that as a sign. I gobbled up Annihilation in less than a day, and quickly moved on to book #2, Authority. Clocking in at less than 200 pages, Annihilation is eerie and suspenseful from cover to cover. I would call this a horror novel first, and a science fiction novel second, because it has left me unsettled for days. The narrative structure might not appeal to everyone, though: it's entirely first-person inner monologue from the mind of a meticulous and fairly unemotional biologist. I thought the clinical delivery of the narrative only added to the suspense of this story.

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