Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I honestly feared I would not like this when I began reading it. It is a stretch from my typical fare: it’s proper “hard” biological SFF; the characters are unnamed; the setting is surreal and mysterious; it’s told from the point of view of a character so introverted that I was irritated at her initial apparent lack of agency.

Reader, I could not have been more wrong. By the time I finished, I both enjoyed and admired it.

This is :actually: a thriller plot crossed with the earth trying to kill us in revenge for all we have wrought in our environment. The characters become fully fleshed out over the course of the novel. It is intricately constructed, skillfully written, and lushly dense while still being accessible.

From a literary point of view, this is the kind of book that I can very easily see sneaking its way into coursework on a routine basis, both in SFF centric courses and environmental fiction courses.

View all my reviews


About Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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