Annihilation, a movie based on the book by Jeff VanderMeer, was released in theatres across the globe this spring. Though I have not seen the movie yet, what I can say is that book itself is eye-opening, and I strongly recommend it.
The best way I can describe the book is to compare it to a peculiar gem whose colour you cannot quite pinpoint. It’s hard to completely grasp every aspect that makes this book the beauty it is, which makes it all the more compelling to reread over the course of time.
To give a bit of background about the plot, Annihilation is part of a trilogy about a team of four women excavating an unknown, “hazardous” area called Area X. The team’s goal is to learn as much as possible about Area X and bring that knowledge back to civilization, or the “real” world, where they come from.
One night, as I lay in bed unable to fall asleep, I thought to myself that this could be a great time to start this book, since it had been assigned for my English class. Instead of falling asleep, I found myself awake in the early hours of the morning, having read the book from front to back. My brain ached with all the information, themes and messages I had identified. As I closed the book I was wrapped in an introspective state and filled with a sense of discovery I’d never felt before.
Unsurprisingly, Annihilation was all I could talk about for the next couple days. It is a page turner – as you can probably tell from the fact that I read it in one go – as well as being a very philosophical book. Some of the big themes and concepts in the novel are nature versus humanity, science versus oblivion, religion, and knowledge. If any of these topics interest you in the slightest, I urge you read this book.
Annihilation was the first book I wanted to reread this summer, and I am happy to report that I found just much new insight as I did when I read it the first time. I don’t think this book will ever get old, and it has earned its place on my bookshelf with my other favourites.