Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy

Book covers for Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy

ANNIHILATION (Southern Reach #1)

My impression is the author tried too hard. He avoids specific details about the supporting characters and most information about the primary character. Keeping the vague distance between the reader and the characters only reinforces one of the primary personality traits of the main character. She is a withdrawn loner. She struggles to be emotionally engaged with other people, including her own husband. The premise of the book’s plot is enticing. But the intention to keep the characters at an emotionally safe distance by keeping their lives, personalities, and historical background simmering at an absolute minimum on the need-to-know basis kept me in the dark.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer is available for purchase on Bookshop.org and Amazon.


AUTHORITY (Southern Reach #2)

The second book in the series was more intriguing than the first one. Its primary focus is an investigation of what occurred in the first installment. It then expands upon the dynamics of the government organization and those involved in learning about Area X.

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer is available for purchase on Bookshop.org and Amazon.


ACCEPTANCE (Southern Reach #3)

The installment is okay. I did not feel it is an adequate conclusion to the series. It demonstrated a sense of emotional fallout from the events that unfolded in the previous two books as the characters unraveled into post-apocalyptic style chaos. There is a balance in this book when the story jumps so far back in time to serve as a prequel of sorts. The time jump expands upon the backstory for the Director and lead psychologist for Southern Reach. I struggled to really develop any further connection with her beyond what I had already established in the two previous books.

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer is available for purchase on Bookshop.org and Amazon.


In conclusion, Jeff VanderMeer’s science fiction trilogy is ambiguous storytelling that leaves enough room for interpretation by the reader. I would be interested in reading each of the stories again to see if I would have a different state of mind or personal interpretation of their stories.


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