Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many questions and not enough answers, 6 April 2014
This review is from: Annihilation (The Southern Reach Trilogy) (Hardcover)
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Four unnamed female scientists set out on an expedition into Area X. This is the 12th expedition; members of previous expeditions have all died one way or another, so little is known about the area – or so the expedition members are told. The expedition starts to unravel almost as soon as they arrive at their base camp; the anthropologist disappears and, worryingly, the biologist realises that the psychiatrist can control them through hypnosis at any time.

As the story progresses through the biologist’s eyes, we realise more and more that the information she was given during training is incomplete and possibly deliberately misleading. Questions abound – what is this tunnel/tower that they have found? what is the significance of the lighthouse? and what really happened to previous expeditions?

What this book does have is loads of atmosphere. There is a definite, and growing, sense of something sinister at work. And, as other reviewers have said, is it reminiscent of Lovecraft in style.

However, for me it doesn't work. There are far too many questions, too many unknowns. Pretty well nothing is explained – which just leaves the reader wandering around in a fog. There’s not enough of a “hook” to keep you guessing – and hence rushing out to buy the second book in order to find out more.

I also agree with other reviewers that the book is too short, at 195 pages. It feels more like a taster designed to whet your appetite for the main story than a proper novel.
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