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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

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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  • Kelt
  • 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.

40 of 44 people found this review helpful

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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • 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??!!<br/><br/>

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

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Crazy weird masterpiece

Scientist soldiers battle giant aliens and each other at the edge of our imperiled world and ecosystem in the southern reach. A thriller that works its way backwards from cataclysmic events to reveal the seeds of destruction and subterfuge caused by corrupt, ambitious scientists and government officials and the emotional drama of a cadre of fighters who try to outwit the enemy and share what it feels like to fight for the tiny shards and moments of goodness of humanity while losing the battle amidst hopeless odds and surreal light show physics.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Will there be a 4th?

Enjoyable and at the same time unsettling. It was like a mystery that, as it was revealed, became even more mysterious. For the most part the narrators were very good although ghost bird seemed to stumble a bit at times. I would like to know what has happened to Control, Jackie, Grace, Ghost Bird, Saul, Gloria, and, especially, Whitby!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great characters, good story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Vandermeer creates some very engaging characters--I often listen to books while I run, and on more than one occasion I found myself taking several extra laps around the block instead of finishing up my run because I wanted to hear more from them.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I found the Director grew increasingly compelling throughout the books--Carolyn McCormick's performance enthralled me when she took center stage in the story.

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

There were many great moments throughout the books--the flashbacks to the Director's past in the pre-Area, Control's troubled and fascinating history, but it was probably the revelations at the end that made the most impact on me. While I thought the ending worked, it also really left me wanting to hear the continued story of these characters in the new status quo.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Chad
  • Gilbert, AZ, United States
  • 09-01-15

Enjoyed it very much

Great narration for an intriguing and mysterious story. What set this book apart for me, was the creepy tone and atmosphere. I felt compelled to read more, yet was frequently left confused as to what was going on, yet the emotional state of the book was very clear. Recommended for those who don't require all the answers!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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what an amazing ride

this book will live inside your head. part Heart of Darkness, Spy psychological novel, and Lovecraftian horror, this is a ride you won't soon forget. highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful