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Annihilation: Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1 Audio Download – Unabridged

3.7 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 6 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 27 Feb. 2014
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IEDIL38
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Four women, a biologist, anthropologist, surveyor and psychologist, are sent to investigate a mysterious island. Area X. An island of an apparently beautiful nature, which unusual effects on adventurers. Scientists before our four ladies have ventured into the depths of Area X before. They are all dead. Some turned on each other and murdered their team, some committed suicide and others died of aggressive cancers shortly after their return. The mystery of Area X still manages to intrigue scientists willing to take a risk and investigate and so we follow them, through the eyes of the biologist, as they trek across the island.

This author world builds fantastically. I was sucked into the story straight away and immediately I became as curious as the scientists about the nature of X and the crazy things happening there.

I also think the concept is brilliant. A mysterious island, crazy changes to the environment, unknown creatures and nature within and some potential for unusual personality changes in the group - it's easy to sell to a curious reader.

Sadly, the things I liked stopped there. The characters are so superficial. The main character is conveyed as a very clinical thinker, and the writing translates as such. Rather than having a quirky nature or way of speaking this makes for a systematic, boring read without any emotional depth. I'm not looking for a book full of feelings, not at all, but the narrating biologist has no personality or opinions whatsoever that aren't fact based. Very dull.

The author tries to combat the one dimensional characters by providing a possible villain.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A stunning psychological fantasy/sci-fi thriller, this book is almost mesmerising. Don't start reading if you need to get something else done in a hurry. It's not a long novel, but you won't want to stop reading until you get to the end. There are two sequels planned for this year and it'll be one of those rare occasions where I shell out to buy it at full price rather than wait. It is narrated by 'the biologist' (none of the characters are named more than by their job title), a member of a four woman expedition to explore the mysterious 'area X'. This is a tropical region on earth that has somehow become cut off as a result of an unnamed 'event', probably linked to a nearby military installation. Previous expeditions have come to sticky ends.

The novel describes the journey of the team through Area X and what they find there. It's one of those atmospheric novels that gets right under your skin and makes you jump at loud noises. It is very well paced and ratchets up the tension at a good rate, gradually releasing more and more information, but leaving plenty of mystery for the sequels. That said, it's not one of those frustrating books that gives you so few answers you feel cheated - whilst there are plenty of unknowns, you feel like you've been rewarded for your reading effort with some more facts. I would have described some elements - the tropical setting and the bizarre, hallucinatory episodes - as reminding me of the TV show 'Lost'. However this is a much more cohesive story than that and has a tighter narrative arc. 'Lost' did leave me frustrated when I felt that the story stopped making sense and perhaps there weren't any answers out there to begin with, but I didn't find that with 'Annihilation'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best science fiction books I've ever read. Everything about it is intriguing and poetic - the way the characters have no real names, the way the world is like ours but weirdly different, the hinted at mysteries. It reminds me of the TV show Lost, but way better and if it had some kind of rough intercourse with HP Lovecraft. The next two books in the series are just as captivating. I was dawdling over finishing the trilogy, because I didn't want to leave that world. It's one of those books that affects the way you experience the world whilst you are reading it. I felt disorientated. In a very good way. If you're hesitating - don't!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Within the context of the southern reach trilogy this sets up the story and outlines the peculiarity of area X. It is difficult to comment without revealing too much of the story other than to say that character development and the building of the "set" creates an intriguing premise. I enjoyed this book, as I did the whole trilogy. I would recommend it to all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
orces unknown have severed Area X from the rest of the land, removing its human life, replacing it with jungle. Eleven expeditions have ventured into Area X, all of which have ended in disaster and violence. Annihilation follows the twelfth into the unknown. The team comprises four women - the Psychologist (the leader), the Anthropologist, the Surveyor and the Biologist (our narrator). There was a fifth but the Linguist had turned back at the last minute. She was the wise one.

While heading towards the known - a lighthouse on the abandoned shore - the four come across the unknown - an uncharted tunnel or, as our Biologist prefers, an inverted tower. Both fascinated and repulsed, the Biologist feels its walls pulse with life, its organic surface etched by letters forming an endless sentence. From this moment, the expedition begins to lose its grip on what may or may not be real, further compromised by the mindgames played by its team members.

Annihilation is a short novel but it is packed full of atmosphere, mystery and dark wonders. As an introduction to the Southern Reach trilogy, it works perfectly, opening up to us this sinister, uncertain world, containing the unknown and the familiar, but all distorted and strange. Intensifying the mystery and mood is the fact that none of the characters are named. Also, the reliability of our narrator is a mystery in itself.

Annihilation is an engrossing, beautifully written and imagined read, often feeling as thick with atmosphere and foreboding as the reeds through which the Biologist struggles. At times it is very frightening and I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle of what might lie in the inverted tower as well as the significance of the lighthouse and its lost inhabitants.
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