Review: Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.
The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one anotioner, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Book # 1-3; Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance. Audio published by Blackstone Audio, November 2014. Narrated by Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, and Xe Sands. Run time of 26 hours.

I’m not reviewing each book separately, here since this title (Area X ) is all 3 books in one big novel. Instead, I’m going to focus on my thoughts when I finished the 26+ hour audiobook!! 😐 Seriously, that was too long.

This trilogy is…. sooooo frustrating!! >.<* Book one, interesting and mysterious. Book two, still interesting but starting to get a little confusing and vague answers. Book three was just vague AF and nothing was clear at all. WTFFFFF is even going on?? What is with that ending?? Where are the flipping answers?? The last couple of hours are just ULTRA lacking and unsatisfying. D: The end really just sorta ruins the whole experiences. Maybe because it was a straight 26 hours and it felt like there was no pay off for investing that much time on it?


I hate ambiguous endings and when each book was ambiguous, with their own ambiguous endings?? NO! I’m not a fan of that at all. The premise is fantastic!! But everything feels rutterless in a sea of vague. It needs more details. More answers. You don’t even have to answer EVERYTHING…. just more than whatever this was….

the ending of this trilogy was just so frustratingly annoying, I’m honestly not even sure I want to read anything else by this author. D:


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