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Publisher's Summary

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

This collection includes all three novels in the epic Southern Reach trilogy: Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. Praised for its evocative prose, chilling psychological twists, and intriguing story arc, this series has amassed high critical and popular acclaim, with book one landing on the New York Times best sellers list.

Dive into the mysteries of Area X, a remote and lush terrain that has inexplicably sequestered itself from civilization. Twelve expeditions have gone in, and not a single member of any of them has remained unchanged by the experience - for better or worse.

©2014 VanderMeer Creative, Inc. Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance © 2014 by VanderMeer Creative, Inc. (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Almost Great

Think 'Lost' or 'The Leftovers'. Two tv shows that play on piling up many questions. Area X is a nice deal, three stories of an anthology sold as one. An unexplainable expanse has opened up in a forgotten part of the world. A government agency full of secrets over sees its exploration. You the reader are never given answers. The characters are always trying to find out just what the heck is going on.

As an idea, this anthology is 5 stars. Amazing idea. One of the best ideas I have come across in the sci-fi genre.

The manner in which this idea unfolds over the three stories is exquisite. Beautifully done.

I found this story lacking though. Its hard to read/listen to. Its very slow. Where it should be relying upon suspense, it rarely does. Its well written. But wordy. I like introspection, but there is too much of it here. It could have been bettered by more conversations between the characters.

I also found that the characters were all very similar. That one character they all really are is good, but I don't think everyone acts this way. Reading 5 or 6 characters that take on this same over all persona becomes deadening.

You know how when one book has a good idea, 500 other authors take on the same concept? Like Interview with a Vampire started a slew of vampire novels or how you can find 1000 different zombie titles on audible right now? Area X stands alone. I hope other authors are inspired by this concept & that 10 years from now we see it explored in more detail. I think that VanderMeer has something good, but that it has not been explored to its fullest.

73 of 76 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • KR
  • Ashland, OR, United States
  • 02-03-15

Book 1: intriguing! Book 2: Zzzz. Book 3: WTF!

This series starts off like "Lost" - mysterious place with lots of questions.
Book 2 is a slog. It's all inter-company squabbles of the Dharma Initiative.
Book 3 is decent with some action. A bit dreamy and weird and hard to follow but the answers are coming right? And then it ends so abruptly I actually yelled "WTF!" at my car stereo. If you want a great start that then will waste hours going absolutely nowhere... Area X is it.

126 of 138 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What a mess.

In like a lion, out like a lamb. I was excited to follow all the twist and turns that Area X had to offer, but instead I got a convoluted plot and annoying characters. There are moments when I feel the narrators could have ripped a handful of pages out of the books and it would have made the same amount of sense that was intended. Book 3 is the worst by far, switching back and forth between characters you've grown to love and characters that don't fit into the story. Xu Sands is the weakest of the narrators, making it hard to care about any characters she's portraying. I was let down by the ending which felt like a bad episode of Lost. Jeff VanderMeer has the ability to write a classic, but this wasn't it.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

a trilogy that gets worse as you go

First I'll just say the narration is adequate and that's it. not great but bad. now onto the books... Book 1 is ok, very intriguing with some interesting ideas. Not the best sci fi I've ever read but ok. good enough I was curious to hear the next book. then book 2 starts and it's new characters set in the same world. I thought ok I'll give this a shot, it just felt like 11 hours of running in place! it never took off, it never intrigued me like book one, or thrilled me at all. By book three I was so bored and ready to finish I upped my reading speed to 2.5! please save yourself time and money and look elsewhere for better sci fi!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deeply unsettling!

Paranoia, unreliable narrators, temporal and spatial anomalies. This was right up my alley. If you're looking for a straightforward creature feature or invasion story, you'll be disappointed. This trilogy meanders around the central hook of an alien corruption to focus on intimate portraits of its characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

What was the point?

I don’t understand what this trilogy was about. There is no closure to anything. An interesting world/story was introduced, but it ended up just being a bunch of bullshit leading to nowhere.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator awkward

I couldn't get into the book and stopped listening after the first hour. The first narrator is haulting, awkward, and doesn't feel like a real person

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Bizarre and non-sensical

The first story was OK and built a lot of suspense. But the second and third stories of the trilogy were a big disappointment - suspense was eliminated by a nonsensical story line. I could not finish this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 02-12-15

Stunning..in so many ways...

Where does Area X rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Easily in the top 20, if not the top 15. If the ending was not so stark ( and that is being mild ) maybe even finer. The 3 different stories are disjointed to be sure, with different performers as well, but on balance this is an epic journey, and one well worth going on.

What did you like best about this story?

The underlying story is fascinating ( if not always clear ) but the most compelling piece is ( predictably of course ) the characters. Control...The Director...the Lighthouse Keeper. They truly DO stick with you, and you want to know...WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??!!

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Wow, a difficult choice. As time wore on in this journey, the Director drew me in. Especially in the last book and how she was was portrayed. A wonderful journey with stunning performers. Carolyn McCormick turns in a scintillating performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Gosh, there as so many. Frankly, what moved me is the ending or the FRICKING LACK THEREOF.
Seriously, this is a long trilogy, and a serious commitment of emotional and personal energy To have the ending so....sharp...( no spoiler here ! ) is maddening, for reasons that the next listeners will understand.

That may be petty, but as other reviews have noted, we require a 4th book, in the trilogy, if you know what I mean.

Otherwise, the resolution of book 1 is a moving piece.

Any additional comments?

My comments above capture my sentiments. This is an amazing work, marred only by the challenges already presented. I highly recommend this offering to any reader. It is worthy of your time, notwithstanding.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

H.P. Lovecraft and Aliens had a love child

I didn't read the description before plunging in head first. It is well written and very intriguing, I loved the horrifying elements, the justifications with theories, and the associated madness.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful