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Annihilation

The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1
Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
Series: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs
4 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If J. J. Abrams, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Weisman collaborated on a novel...it might be this awesome.

Area X 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 members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the 11th expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the 12th expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist - the de facto leader - and a biologist, who is our narrator. Their mission is 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. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers - they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life-forms that surpass understanding - but it's the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

Cover artwork (C) Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2014

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No

This book was written by a canny person using literary devices like unreliable narrator and limited disclosure of information. The story is about a pseudo-military mission and it’s told by a single narrator.

The reader isn’t given anything. We are dropped into the middle of an exploratory expedition to a dangerous mystery land, Area X, whose borders seem to be encroaching on the known world. There is no plot. The characters are undeveloped and nameless. There is no larger grasp of their womanhood (all the characters are supposedly women), humanity or metaphysics. The author has a preoccupation with the sensory details of his little world. And since we are positioned inside a biologist, it’s all about plant life and organisms and tissue and fluids and leaking and moaning and sloughing.

I believe this book is meant to be a meta experience; us on an expedition with no clear parameters, reading about them on an expedition with no clear parameters.

I respect the author’s devotion to his method.
But it resulted in me (the reader) not knowing or caring about the outcome. I suspected the plot twist might be that it was all a sim. Not so. At least not yet. Some deranged publisher made this a series.

Was this book written by a school kid? Definitely not. A robot? More likely. If, like me, you find it hard to quit mid-book, this is a pretty horrible commitment. Godspeed.

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  • tj
  • 02-20-19

awesome

I really enjoyed it. loved the movie and changed my view of it forever. has a great atmosphere

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The worst audiobook I've ever listened to

The story could have been written by a schoolkid - it just isn't there. The plot is so thin I'm convinced I made it up. There is no character development because there are no characters. It.is.quite.horrible.

To add to it, the performance isn't a performance. Dead pan, basically no inflection. The only reason I didn't award Ms McCormick one star is she had no material to work with.

At the time of writing, it had 8 ratings. I can only wonder whether these were the author's friends & family.. Seriously, don't waste your credit on this drivel.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful