A biologist, an anthropologist, a surveyor, a linguist and a psychologist set out to explore, study, and document a mysterious plot of land overrun with a myriad of ecosystems that has shown up on Earth. They are the twelfth expedition to go into this area, dubbed Area X, in an attempt to learn its origins and its purpose. They do not know each other names, just each others roles, in order to keep the focus on the mission. Almost immediately, the expedition falls apart with one member choosing not to cross into Area X and another member abandoning her post the first night. Thus starts Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
What we, the readers, are privy to is the journal entries of the biologist, a withdrawn and analytical expert in transitional biological systems. She is determined to understand what exactly is happening in Area X (and what happened to previous expeditions) to a fault. She does not engage with her expedition members nor does she seem to want to. She has her own goals and will see them through, regardless of the state of the mission or her team members.
Do not read this book if you like answers. If you have to come away from a story with a bow tied around the plot, you will hate this book. The narrator is not trustworthy. She even tells the reader that she is purposefully leaving things out of her account of her time in Area X. Additionally, not much is really known about Area X, so our narrator is trying to explain and define something that defies explanation and definition. It is, at times, frustrating to read, but VanderMeer includes enough concrete flashbacks from the biologist’s life before Area X that reader gets just enough understanding to keep going. However, these flashbacks are woven so seamlessly into the present narrative in Area X as to create in the reader an even greater unnerving sense of not knowing or trusting what is real or true.
BINGO – GREEN (I think this is my first completed Bingo line!)