A new sci-fi book review from The Movie Snob.
Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer (2014). I enjoyed this weird new sci-fi novel, which is “Book 1 of the Southern Reach Trilogy.” The story seems to be set in the present day, but it’s hard to tell because everything is kept very generic. It seems that some sort of strange or alien presence has taken over a specific area of our planet, called Area X or the Southern Reach. (It sounds kind of like Florida.) No humans live there anymore, but periodically an expedition gets sent into the Southern Reach to see what is going on and to record their observations. The expeditions usually end badly for those involved. Annihilation is the story of one such expedition—four women who are never even given names—and the weird stuff they encounter in the Southern Reach. A blurb on the back of the book compares the novel to Lovecraft and Kubrick, which are apt comparisons. I also detected echoes of the novel and movie Solaris, and part was even reminiscent of a horror story I once read called Cold Skin. Anyway, it was a good read if you like weird science fiction, and I do plan to read the rest of the trilogy someday.