by Jeff Vandermeer
Buy from Indigo
Description: 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; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died 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 months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their 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 and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to 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.
The Good Stuff
- Unique and highly imaginative
- Lots of twists and turns and keeps you on your toes trying to figure out what is going on
- Incredible world building - full of unusual landscapes and creatures
- Highly intrigued and looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy
- Creepy and mysterious - have quite a few people at work who I think will eat this up
- I know its a minor thing but the next books come out in May and September so the storyline will be wrapped up by the end of the year. For a person who reads as much as I do (and lets face it is older and the memory isn't as good as it once was) this will be refreshing considering that many trilogies take at least 3 years to conclude
- Couldn't help myself - Area X felt like the setting of Lost (just a little) mixed a little with the X-Files
- Hooks you in right away and at times you will find it hard to put down -- sorry Jeff. Also leaves you wanting more. I am quite sure there will be a huge demand for the second story
- HarperCollins did a fabulous job of promoting this one!!!
- Characters are more of caricatures than fully developed characters
- Hard to connect with the narrator
- Difficult to review and provide favorite passages without spoiling anything
"The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you."
"Nothing that lived and breathed was truly objective - even in a vacuum, even if all that possessed the brain was a self-immolating desire for the truth."
"Maybe I don't know the answer. Maybe I just don't want to tell you."
I received this from HarperCollins (as part of being an Indigo employee) and am in no way required to review or promote- I'm just such a book nerd I have to review every book I read