An account of the 12th expedition into Area X, a chunk of Florida that has been warped by the presence of some non-Euclidean entity. The previous 11 expeditions have ended in collective murder/suicide or worse(?), so you can imagine how this one goes. I don't have that much to say about this book, since it does just about everything right. The plotting is fast and interesting and draws you swiftly along. It actually reminded me a bit of Blindsight, with its desperate first contact situation, altered consciousness, uncertain loyalties, and alien biologies. The world building is wonderfully inventive and detailed, and the author fleshes out many of the typical Lovecraftian elements without ever seeming derivative. It tends to beautifully show, rather than tell. For instance, where Lovecraft might tell you that some tome had blasphemous, mind warping text, Annihilation will actually have a paragraph or four of blasphemous, mind warping text. And it's of very high quality! You can tell the author put some work into this.
I read this 200 page book straight through, and there wasn't any part of it I did not enjoy.
Post Mortem: Last night I wanted to look up some passages in this book, and I ended up re-reading the entire thing. I think Annihilation really does approach the Platonic form for this type of Lovecraft story, there isn't anything I'd remove or add from the book. Oh, and Like my other favorite, _In the Valley of the Kings_, _Annihilation_ has a wonderful, destructive phrase cried out three times, with exclamations at the end of each cry. Always the mark of a good book!