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Publisher's Summary

If J. J. Abrams, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Weisman collaborated on a novel...it might be this awesome.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the 11th expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the 12th expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist - the de facto leader - and a biologist, who is our narrator. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers - they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life-forms that surpass understanding - but it's the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

Cover artwork (C) Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

©2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2014

What listeners say about Annihilation

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unpredictable

Very good story, brutal narrative. 100% good stuff but be aware: It can be distressful some times.

4 people found this helpful

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great listen

Jeff Vandermeer writes great science fiction. far beyond my expectations after watching the movie can't wait to start the other two

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

What just happened?

I think this book is well written, I loved the story. But, man, did this story flew by. Before I knew it, it was ended.

I was left with a general sence of what it was all about, sure. Overall, I loved the story!

2 people found this helpful

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3.5 stars

Appropriately, this is going to be a strange one. My Annihilation experience was perhaps as unusual as the story itself. I grabbed the audiobook for this experience. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, I generally set my expectations high when the powers that be decide to turn the book into a movie. They are rarely ever able to duplicate the magic of a fantastic book, but the base is often a sure bet.

Imagine, if you will, a story told by Spock, all emotion, color and emphasis gone. A purely analytical, scientific telling of the events of the story. Annihilation got me thinking more about what I want from a book and not about this particular book. Not a good sign. My decision, give me a Klingon narrator, I want the larger than life emotion, the instability of the protagonist, I want a kaleidoscope of a story.

That being said, I would have to say that the performance of the audiobook was better than the story itself. Carolyn McCormick’s performance was flawless. She embodied the analytical nature of The Biologist (yes, I’ve capitalized the protagonist’s profession, it’s the only way she is identified). The narration made the story mildly interesting. Casting matters.

Following the audiobook, I made the mistake of asking my wife to watch the movie with me (I’ll be hearing about that for some time to come). At this point, my hopes weren’t high, boy oh boy, that did not even come close. I get that not everything translates well to the movie, but this seemed like a completely different story.

Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be returning to The Southern Reach series in any of its forms. The story gets a 3.5 stars; the audiobook performance a 4, and the movie – a waste of time.

4 people found this helpful

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Girlboss, Gaslight, Gatekeep, Ghostbird

imagine if a deadly expedition into a Lovecraftian paranormal/alien phenomenon went as well as a college group project

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic exploration into an strange land

Picked up this book because I enjoyed the movie Annihilation, and I gotta say it was great. The narrator does a great job telling the Biologists story through her notes as she explores this strange land. The way it's written lends well to the listeners imagination. Leaves you wanting more

1 person found this helpful

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Not reccomended

The longer I read, the more irritated I got and the less I cared about the characters or the story. I only got about a third of the way through; in the end I couldn't finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Still waiting for it to get good

I chose a 2 star rating because this book has an interesting premise but then it never delivers on it. I finished the full book waiting for something interesting or exciting to happen and it just never did. If a good book is a roller coaster then this book is a flat road with a speed bump here or a pothole there. Very slow listen even at 2x speed.

1 person found this helpful

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Oh boy...

Wow. Such a compelling story with amazing writing and excellent pacing. Not once in the entire book was I bored or confused.

3 people found this helpful

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  • KO
  • 2022-04-08

The movie was better

There are a lot of page-long run-on sentences in this book that disrupt or distract from the content. There are also many beautiful and interesting things, which I was glad to read the book for, but in general I would say it's too long, anti-climactic and sort of lacks a point. The narrator has a nice voice but is extremely monotone throughout, which removes the horror and suspenseful elements altogether.

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  • Sidney Anderson
  • 2022-08-07

esoteric doesn't cut it

Woah boy. your in for a journey. I liked it I really did but your in for lots of descriptions about things beyond the pale of description. you must take it on faith that what's being described is exactly what is being described. with no common point of mythology it's hard to grasp.

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  • Michael Kopp
  • 2021-09-03

Modern Lovecraft

Many, many questions, almost no answers beyond wild speculation. Area X almost entirely evades explaination, and yet this biologist's attempt to explain it is so utterly engrossing that I finished it over the course of two days.

Very different from the film adaptation (at least, what I remember from it) and it quickly becomes apparent why; so much of the events of this book cannot be accurately depicted visually, only loosely (but richly) described so that the reader can create their own formless mental images.

I will definitely be continuing on with the rest of this trilogy.

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  • T
  • 2019-05-06

No

This book was written by a canny person using literary devices like unreliable narrator and limited disclosure of information. The story is about a pseudo-military mission and it’s told by a single narrator.

The reader isn’t given anything. We are dropped into the middle of an exploratory expedition to a dangerous mystery land, Area X, whose borders seem to be encroaching on the known world. There is no plot. The characters are undeveloped and nameless. There is no larger grasp of their womanhood (all the characters are supposedly women), humanity or metaphysics. The author has a preoccupation with the sensory details of his little world. And since we are positioned inside a biologist, it’s all about plant life and organisms and tissue and fluids and leaking and moaning and sloughing.

I believe this book is meant to be a meta experience; us on an expedition with no clear parameters, reading about them on an expedition with no clear parameters.

I respect the author’s devotion to his method.
But it resulted in me (the reader) not knowing or caring about the outcome. I suspected the plot twist might be that it was all a sim. Not so. At least not yet. Some deranged publisher made this a series.

Was this book written by a school kid? Definitely not. A robot? More likely. If, like me, you find it hard to quit mid-book, this is a pretty horrible commitment. Godspeed.

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  • tj
  • 2019-02-20

awesome

I really enjoyed it. loved the movie and changed my view of it forever. has a great atmosphere

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  • David
  • 2018-07-13

The worst audiobook I've ever listened to

The story could have been written by a schoolkid - it just isn't there. The plot is so thin I'm convinced I made it up. There is no character development because there are no characters. It.is.quite.horrible.

To add to it, the performance isn't a performance. Dead pan, basically no inflection. The only reason I didn't award Ms McCormick one star is she had no material to work with.

At the time of writing, it had 8 ratings. I can only wonder whether these were the author's friends & family.. Seriously, don't waste your credit on this drivel.

1 person found this helpful