Suburban neighborhoods just like the ones we live in: idyllic families, jobs, and people living. Beyond that the Southern Reach government bases doing top secret research. Beyond that a border. Beyond that.... well they are still trying to figure that out.
Meet Area X, a large span of mysterious living wilderness that has completely annihilated every trace of human life in its large contained mass. Meet the four ladies of Expedition 12: their leader-an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and our narrator, the biologist. The 12th expedition to venture into the unknown of Area X and there are still few answers to their question. The past 11 expeditions before them have all suffered different tragic fates. One expedition ended in mass suicide, one expedition all passed away from fast moving cancers upon their return, one expedition returned with all its members empty shells of their former selves.
What is in store for this 12th expedition? What will they find across its border? Will they make it back to report their discoveries?
Annihilation is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy and if you pick this one there is no way you can go without reading the second and third. With the first book swirling with secrets, betrayals, government cover-ups, I couldn't wait for my hold on the second one. Be sure to read the first one before the movie comes this year directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina) starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Oscar Isaac, and Natalie Portman as our unreliable Biologist narrator.
For more Sci-Fi and books-to-movies try Stories of Your Life and Other Stories by Ted Chiang and its movie adaptation The Arrival staring Amy Adams and directed by Denis Villeneuve.