Annihilation: a Novel
By Jeff VanderMeer
The fantasy/mystery novel hooked me at the beginning, but failed to keep my interest the whole way through. I did read it all the way through, however. I’ve decided to stop reading mediocre writing anymore, so it passed that bar. A couple of things pulled me in; the mystery of Area X, and the interplay between the psychologist and the main character. A couple of points broke the novel for me; the lack of names, and the lack of depth in the relationships.
Any novel that has a mysterious area, mysteriously named Area X, should have some kind of big reveal – what is this mysterious area all about? If not the big reveal then there should be something to pull the reader along. I thought that would be the relationship between the main character and the psychologist. The psychologist seems to have some answers. But that left me unsatisfied, too, like watching Lost. You get a hint of an answer, followed by stubborn refusal.
The relationships were also a bit light. Maybe it was partly because the characters had no names, and the main character was self-admittedly cold. I saw no significant difference in the personalities between the psychologist and the surveyor. One had more power, but that’s not a personality.
I did like the mystery of the “tower” and the “creature”. The lighthouse felt like a big reveal, but wasn’t.
In the end, I don’t think I will read the next in the series.