The much anticipated second instalment in VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy
In Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer introduced the mysteries of Area X—a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. It was the first volume of a projected trilogy; well in advance of publication, translation rights had sold all around the world, and a major movie deal had been struck. Just months later, the second volume is here.
For thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X has taken the form of a series of expeditions monitored by a secret agency called the Southern Reach. After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez (a.k.a. “Control”) is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve. And the consequences will reach much farther than that.
The Southern Reach trilogy will conclude in fall 2014 with Acceptance.
The second volume of VanderMeer's trilogy (following Annihilation) continues to investigate the secrets of Area X, a mysterious zone somewhere in the United States, isolated from the rest of the world through (as-yet) inexplicable processes, and from which participants of multiple expeditions have returned enormously changed if they return at all. The narrator this time is John Rodriguez, who goes by the name "Control," the newly appointed director of the Southern Reach, the organization that has, for 30 years, attempted to discover basic information about the zone. The Southern Reach is in turmoil following the calamitous 12th Area X expedition, which was the subject of Annihilation. In this sequel, VanderMeer supplements his evocative descriptions of the unnatural Area X with the shadowy, dusty, seemingly half-forgotten offices in which Control spends his time, as he parses video footage and interrogation testimony in order to get to the bottom of the Area X mystery. The book strengthens and develops the narrative arc while remaining fully coherent on its own, revealing more and more secrets about Area X all the while. VanderMeer's masterful command of the plot, his cast of characters, and the increasingly desperate situation will leave the reader desperate for the final volume in the trilogy.
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Part 2 delivers
Lovecraft meets bureaucratic horror. A book unto itself as well a sequel. Great read, thoroughly excited for part 3.