I am a huge Alex Garland fan. I *loved* Ex Machina and Sunshine and have since sought out his other screenwriting ventures. When I found out that his new movie releases in 2018, I was so excited. And then I found out that there was a book attached. Even better. My sister had read and recommended Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, of which Annihilation is the first book. I thought, Let’s start here. And what a wild ride it is.
Area X is thought to be contaminated or dangerous, though the Southern Reach cannot explain why. So they sent an expedition to investigate. The first group reported gorgeous landscapes. The second expedition committed suicide. Each subsequent expedition has met with some unexplained or frightening disaster. The eleventh expedition saw everyone die of cancer. Now, this is expedition 12. Our narrator is a biologist, and she is with a surveyor, anthropologist, and psychologist seeking to find some answers. The most frightening thing, however, is what came with them to Area X.
Honestly, the effectiveness of this book likes in its simplicity. It’s a slim volume, and VanderMeer does not waste words. He packs in horror, thriller, mystery, and science fiction into a short book, and he makes you wonder how it will all turn out. I was thoroughly engaged throughout the entire process. The movie has a lot of material to explore, and I’m curious to see how they will develop the world and the characters. I am looking forward to seeing what the other two books have to offer.
Cross-posted to my blog.