Jeff Vandermeer has always been a frustrating author to me. He is an incredible anthologist and an adroit genre critic. I want to love his books. I should love his books. The New Weird movement got me into writing in the first place. But, for some reason, I’ve had a hard time getting into them.
Not so with Annihilation, and that’s a relief.
Annihilation is the story of “Area X,” an irrational, transitional landscape in the south. With shifting, horrible borders that must be passed through under hypnosis, it’s at once part of and separated from the mundane world. Inside Area X, monsters come in familiar forms, and nothing is what it seems. Expeditions have been going into Area X for a long time, with few survivors. The mysterious organization dubbed the “Southern Reach” controls Area X. They also condition and “prepare” each expedition, but there is so much unknown about Area X.