Fiction: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation book coverFans of sci-fi and horror mixed in equal measure will revel in the foreboding tone, the ever-present dread of Annihilation, the first title in Jeff VanderMeer’s new Southern Reach trilogy. An all-female expedition of four unnamed scientists explores the mysterious “Area X,” a place once home to a peaceful fishing village and adjacent to a military base (or so the women have been told), but that now hosts unfamiliar and dangerous creatures that stalk, write cryptic messages on tower walls, and elicit madness. The novel is scary, and reminds one of doomed-mission flicks like the Alien franchise or the puzzle-piece structure of the TV series Lost. It leaves the story (and the reader) unsettled, begging for the next installment.