Synopses & Reviews
It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied explanation for thirty years, rebuffing expedition after expedition, refusing to reveal its secrets. As Area X expands, the agency tasked with investigating and overseeing it--the Southern Reach--has collapsed on itself in confusion. Now one last, desperate team crosses the border, determined to reach a remote island that may hold the answers they've been seeking. If they fail, the outer world is in peril. Meanwhile, Acceptance tunnels ever deeper into the circumstances surrounding the creation of Area X--what initiated this unnatural upheaval? Among the many who have tried, who has gotten close to understanding Area X--and who may have been corrupted by it? In this last installment of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may be solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound--or terrifying.
"The concluding volume of VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy (after Annihilation and Authority) brings each of the series's narrative threads together for an enigmatic but satisfying conclusion. In Annihilation, a single survivor from one of exploratory expeditions to Area X discusses her experiences, a portion of the southern U.S. that has become inexplicably isolated from the rest of the world and from which few visitors return. Authority, the second volume, is a conspiratorial tale about the highly secretive Southern Reach, the organization that, in theory, is attempting to uncover the secrets of the Zone. The story is related by its newly appointed director, Control, who, like many of the characters in the earlier books, reappears in Acceptance. Others about whom we have heard earlier also pop up, including Saul Evans, the lighthouse keeper, who was one of the first to experience the Zone. The third book begins with another expedition as a team reenters Area X in search of a lost member. In many ways, this is the most mysterious and puzzling book of the three: VanderMeer employs multiple flashbacks and POVs, which contribute to a multifaceted, mutating portrait of Area X. The pacing of the narrative is slower, but the reader will want to move slowly so as not to miss any of the more subtle occurrences or psychological insights. By the time the book is finished, the reader knows that this trilogy is that rare thing a set in which the whole is as great as the parts. Agent: Sally Harding, Cooke Agency. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for The Southern Reach Trilogy “Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent.” —Warren Ellis “After their high-risk expedition disintegrates, its every scientist for herself in this wonderfully creepy blend of horror and science fiction . . . Speculative fiction at its most transfixing.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A satisfying conclusion to this captivating trilogy" —Booklist
"This trilogy is that rare thing—a set in which the whole is as great as the parts." —Publishers WeeklyPraise for The Southern Reach Trilogy"Im loving The Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Creepy and fascinating." —Stephen King "Chilling." —Julie Bosman, New York Times"VanderMeer masterfully conjures up an atmosphere of both metaphysical dread and visceral tension . . . Annihilation is a novel in which facts are undermined and doubt instilled at almost every turn. Its about science as a way of not only thinking but feeling, rather than science as a means of becoming certain about the world. . . . Ingenious." —Laura Miller, Salon"A clear triumph for Vandermeer . . . a compelling, elegant, and existential story . . . .The solitary voice of its post-humanist narrator is both deeply flawed and deeply trustworthy—a difficult and excellent balance in a novel whose world is built seamlessly and whose symbols are rich and dark." —Lydia Millet, LA Times"A book about an intelligent, deadly fungus makes for an enthralling read—trust us." —Tara Wanda Merrigan, GQ"[A] strange, clever, off-putting, maddening, claustrophobic, occasionally beautiful, occasionally disturbing and altogether fantastic book . . . Annihilation is a book meant for gulping—for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover." —Jason Sheehan, NPR Books"Successfully creepy, an old-style gothic horror novel set in a not-too-distant future. The best bits turn your mind inside out." —Sara Sklaroff, The Washington Post"If J.J. Abrams-style by-the-numbers stories of shadowy organizations and science magic have let you down one too many times, then Annihilation will be more like a revelation. VanderMeer peels back the skin of the everyday, and gives you a glimpse of a world where science really is stretching the bounds of our knowledge—sometimes to the point where we cant ever be the same . . . [Annihilation] will make you believe in the power of science mysteries again." —Annalee Nevitz, io9"Fans of the Lost TV series . . . this one is for you." —Molly Driscoll, Christian Science Monitor"What frightens you? According to many psychologists, our most widely shared phobia is the fear of falling. Jeff VanderMeers novel Annihilation taps into that bottomless terror . . . VanderMeer ups the books eeriness quotient with the smoothest of skill, the subtlest of grace. His prose makes the horrific beautiful." —Nisi Shawl, Seattle Times"Much of the flora and fauna seem familiar, but thats whats so fascinating about the carnage that VanderMeer sets loose. He has created a science fiction story about a world much like our own." —John Domini, Miami Herald"Annihilation feels akin to isolated sci-fi terrors of Alien . . . teases and terrifies and fascinates." —Kevin Nguyen, Grantland"The plot moves quickly and has all the fantastic elements youd ever want—biological contaminants, peculiar creatures, mysterious deaths—but its the novels unbearable dread that lingers with me days after Ive finished it." —Justin Alvarez, The Paris Review"Jeff VanderMeer ventures on to strange ground in this enigmatic story." —Alex Good, The Toronto Star"[VanderMeers] writing is courageously imaginative, fiercely unformulaic, and utterly immersive. You dont read Jeff VanderMeer, you experience him." —Paul Goat Allen, The Barnes & Noble Book Blog"The first book in what may be a modern classic of post-apocalyptic sci-fi . . . .Annihilations story struck me hard and pulled me in fast. I havent had a reading experience this creepy, intense, and edge-of-your-seat since H.P. Lovecrafts At the Mountains of Madness." —Paul Schwartz, UR Chicago"Annihilation is smart, tense and utterly engrossing." —Mike Reynolds, Bookgasm"Master of the literary headtrip Jeff VanderMeeers Annihilation is simply unlike anything youve read before. It gnaws away at your nerves with a slow-building sense of dread and impending madness." —Marc Savlov, Kirkus Reviews"VanderMeer both defies and challenges genre boundaries, forcing readers to forget about traditional tropes and clichés and simply enjoy the storytelling." —John DeNardo, Kirkus "Best Bets for Speculative Fiction Books, February 2014"A gripping fantasy thriller, Annihilation is thoroughly suspenseful." —Heather Paulson, Booklist"After their high-risk expedition disintegrates, its every scientist for herself in this wonderfully creepy blend of horror and science fiction. . . . Speculative fiction at its most transfixing." —Kirkus (Starred Review)"A gripping fantasy thriller, Annihilation is thoroughly suspenseful. In a manner similar to H. G. Wells in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896), VanderMeer weaves together an otherworldly tale of the supernatural and the half-human. Delightfully, this page-turner is the first in a trilogy." —Heather Paulson, ALA Booklist (Starred Review)"Brilliant . . . ever-more-terrifying, yet ever-more-transcendent . . . .Using evocative descriptions of the biologists outer and inner worlds, masterful psychological insight, and intellectual observations both profound and disturbing—calling Lovecraft to mind and Borges—VanderMeer unfolds a tale as satisfying as it is richly imagined." —Publishers Weekly"In much of Jeff VanderMeers work, a kind of radiance lies beating beneath the surface of the words. Here in Annihilation, it shines through with warm blazing incandescence. This is one of a grand writers finest and most dazzling books." —Peter Straub, author of Lost Boy, Lost Girl
"Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent." —Warren Ellis"One of those books where it all comes together—the story and the prose and the ideas, all braided into a triple helix that gives rise to something vibrant and alive. Something that grows, word-by-word, into powerful, tangled vines that creep into your mind and take hold of it. Annihilation is brilliant and atmospheric, a novel that has the force of myth." —Charles Yu, author of How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe"A dazzling book . . . haunted and haunting." —Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners"A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unraveling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and a claustrophobic dread that linger long afterward. I loved it." —Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls"The great thing about Annihilation is the strange, elusive, and paranoid world that it creates. . . . I cant wait for the next one." —Brian Evenson, author of Last Days"Its been a long time since a book filled me with this kind of palpable, wondrous disquiet, a feeling that started on the first page and that Im not sure Ive yet shaken." —Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods"This swift surreal suspense novel reads as if Verne or Wellsian adventurers exploring a mysterious island had warped through into a Kafkaesque nightmare world. The reader will want to stay trapped with the Biologist to find the answers to Area Xs mysteries." —Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy"Unsettling and un-put-downable like an old-fashioned adventure story, only weirder, beautifully written and not at all old-fashioned." —Karen Joy Fowler, BookPage"The prose is phenomenal . . . it toyed with my imagination in ways that havent happened since A Wrinkle in Time." —Madison Vain, Entertainment Weekly "Its deepest terror lies in its exploration of . . . the human heart, and the terror that can grow from the ways in which we are untrue to each other, and to ourselves." —Jared Bland, The Globe and Mail"VanderMeers masterful command of the plot, his cast of characters, and the increasingly desperate situation will leave the reader desperate for the final volume in the trilogy." —Publishers Weekly"What frightens you? According to many psychologists, our most widely shared phobia is the fear of falling. Jeff VanderMeers Annihilation taps into that bottomless terror . . . VanderMeer ups the books eeriness quotient with the smoothest of skill, the subtlest of grace. His prose makes the horrific beautiful." —Nisi Shawl, The Seattle Times"Theres something Poe-like in this tightening, increasingly paranoid focus . . . the payoff is absolutely worth the patience." —N.K. Jemisin, The New York Times
The final installment of Jeff VanderMeers Southern Reach Trilogy
It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown—navigating new terrain and new challenges—the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. In Acceptance, the last installment of Jeff VanderMeers Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.
About the Author
Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of Americas American Fantastic Tales and in multiple years-best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife.