RaveThe Los Angeles Review of Books...a strikingly effective chiller with a classically Lovecraftian premise. This swiftly paced tale follows the members of Southern Reach’s 12th expedition as they investigate Area X. However, whereas a Lovecraftian story would exclaim in horror at a challenges to humanity’s place in the universe, Annihilation. asks whether ‘the human’ is a stable category to begin with … As the Southern Reach’s use of hypnotic keywords may indicate, Annihilation, like the other novels in the trilogy, is preoccupied with the way that external environments and beings manipulate our internal selves. Language is held up to particular scrutiny. Characters are infected by words; stories are deployed as weapons; phrases derail characters’ ability to perceive objective reality. Cleverly, VanderMeer turns the text against the reader at times, alerting us to the fact that we, too, are being manipulated with language.