Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1)Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d been warring with myself on whether or not I should write this review. I don’t like to write negative reviews, generally. It’s evident, however, that I’m not alone in my opinion, for these SFF fans/reviewers seem to be divided when it comes to the Southern Reach trilogy. Some give it rave reviews, and others feel as I do: a little cheated.

I have to give the author credit, the language and general writing was superb. What fell apart for me, however, was the style and story. The entire novel was written as diary entries, which makes my “show, don’t tell” instinct twitch. I will grant, that there were some good points, but the drawn-out descriptions were filled with what I felt was unnecessary information. I would have liked to get some more emotion out of the protagonist and more dialogue out of everyone.

The suspense just wasn’t there for me. It felt like there was no urgency, no immediate danger. It is possible that this is because these are all diary entries, and I knew that the main character survives at least to write the entries. If it was written in-the-moment I might have been more invested, unfortunately, this just fell short for me.

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