Thursday, 5 June 2014

Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

Hey Guys, Joe here!

So, it's been a while, but I have finally finished Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer!

Yes, yes I know, it's been a while since I posted my last status about it and I'm sorry, my excuse is that college work has been keeping me busy.

But I have finally finished it, so lets get on with the Review:

Small Excerpt from the Book:

The first thing I noticed on the staging level before we reached the wider staircase that spiralled down, before we encountered again the words written on the wall...the tower was breathing. The tower breathed, and the walls when I went to touch them carried the echo of a heartbeat...and they were not made of stone but of living tissue.

The main reason why I read/bought this book is because I won the second instalment 'Authority' in a Goodreads giveaway.
Upon the realisation of it being the second instalment, I made it my task in seeking out the first instalment and reading it.
And so I did.

The first thing that caught my eye for 'Annihilation' and 'Authority' was that they both had indescribably beautiful covers, that alone gave me a reason to enter the giveaway for one and buy the other one.
The illustrations as well, which are a few pages in are just as amazing! The amount of detail that went into them is crazy!

The book started out quite intently, descriptions of this mysterious 'Area X' and how it was so secluded from the human touch drew me in and captivated me to read more. After a chapter or two of Area X's description we begin to learn who the main characters are, a small group of individuals who are sent into Area X as the 12th expedition, we also begin to learn that this 'book' is actually a written journal, from one member of this group.
Now this simple and forever-used writing technique of giving characters names is a used technique in practically every book... so this slightly threw me a little bit when I found out that none of them actually have names; there is no character based names such as James or Sarah or Chris or Jenny.
What I mean by this is, is that the group is made up of four women who are labelled as their job roles.
So we have the Anthropologist, the Psychologist, the Surveyor and the Biologist. These are the characters the story is revolved around, with the Biologist becoming the writer of the journal and the main character.

The group stumble across a 'Tower' as the Biologist describes it, but it is actually an entrance to some deep, underground lair that throws everything and everyone into chaos...

Intrigued yet? Because at this point in the book I sure was and this was only 30 or 40 pages in!
I won't spoil any more of it for you guys, because you really should buy this book, put everything else off and read it.

The whole 'journal' aspect for this book was achieved and written perfectly, it felt as if it was written too a certain degree in which you started to believe that it actually was a journal, until your own reality pulled you back into the mind-frame of it being a book.
As there are no chapters, each segment of writing is split up by a leaf shape image, giving you another feeling of this being a journal and not a story!

I don't believe that I have ever read anything quite like this book, and I don't think I will read anything like this again. (Maybe apart from the 2nd and 3rd instalments in the series when I get round to them, but even then I do not know for sure)

I've seen people describe this book as bland or un-original or even a waste of time... yes, they are peoples own opinions and yes I took them in my own way. But this book made ME feel anxious, nervous, scared, joyful, broken and powerless, sometimes all within the same chapter.

I would rate this book... 4 out of 5 stars. The reason why I would rate it 4 and not 5 out of 5, is because it may have been written, in my opinion, perfectly; but I found myself sometimes getting lost on certain statements from the Biologist, though this wasn't a huge deal as I would re-read and grasp other segments in which I didn't fully understand to begin.

Whatever you do though, make sure you don't just try and finish this book to quickly, give yourself time to process everything that the biologist writes, as some points do thoroughly confuse you and make you think 'Wait, what was that she mentioned' or 'Wait, where in the hell is she now??' because the whole thing just mashes your mind into a pulp and then smoothens it back together again.

But all in all, this book was amazing, it was a powerhouse and I am so glad that I took the time to read it. Check this book out and make sure you check out more of Jeff VanderMeer's work!

I generally really did adore this book; I cannot wait to read 'Authority'

This is my review on 'Annihilation' by Jeff VanderMeer, thank you for taking the time to read this!
Joe :D


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