this book is full of spiders

Genre: Thriller
Page Count: 404 Pages

“We’re totally on the same page here, lets burn this shit down”

David Wong

Let me start by saying David Wong has the power of making a book simultaneously both terrifying and pee your pants hilarious. I didn’t know it was possible, but he accomplishes it with This Book is Full Of Spiders. As someone that never ‘laughs out loud’ while reading I give it the biggest stamp of approval. It is truly unlike any other book in its genre.

This Book is Full Of Spiders is what would happen if you and your mate were suddenly given the responsibility of saving the world, after a you’ve just woken up hung over and you have no clue what you are actually saving it from.

“You haven’t really experienced the full range of human emotion until you’ve cried your eyes out while hanging on for dear life on the back of a dirt bike bouncing across a cornfield in the freezing cold”

The characters are eccentric, flawed, and entirely easy to fall in love with. We follow these unlikely heroes as they attempt to prevent a parasitic spider infection spreading beyond their quirky little town. David, John and Amy are relatable in that they are so human and deal with the storm they are thrust into the way I image most of people would if it happened to us, with bitting sarcasm and a plethora of swear words.

“DID SOMEBODY ORDER SOME FUCKING PRISON BREAK WITH A SIDE OF SHOTGUN?”

John was my favourite character (though Molly the dog is almost tied in this spot), most of my laughter occurred after one of John’s epic one liners. While a bit of an antihero technically, he easily slots into hero status by the end of the novel. 

“I assume your plan didn’t progress beyond this exact moment.”

The writer tells the story in a nonlinear fashion, which really helped add tension and built up the plot to have an explosive end. I frequently found myself exclaiming ‘omg’ as the pieces came together. This narrative technique really made the book stand out for me and is one of the reasons it’s a new favourite for me!

TBIFOS is the second in a trilogy however you don’t have to read them in order, personally I haven’t yet read the first book and I wasn’t lost or confused. Considering how much I enjoyed the book, I will definitely be reading the others in the series!

“Damn it! I knew she was a monster! John! Amy! Listen! Guard your buttholes.”

RATING:

★★★★★

Genre: Fantasy/ Thriller
Pages: 195 Pages

“Where lies the strangling fruit that came from the hand of the sinner I shall bring forth the seeds of the dead”

Book Synopsis

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the world for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilisation. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third 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 weeks, all had died of cancer. In the first volume of the Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader, and our narrator, the biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

Not in a long time have I felt so utterly consumed by a book. A fact that is especially impressive when you consider it’s relatively short 195 pages. The atmosphere Vandermeer creates draws you in immediately, the world of Area X turns the reader into a moth pulled swiftly into its flame. I read it while on holiday and as soon as I finished was running around the caravan park commanding people to read it and understand its brilliance.

“I felt as If I could do anything as long as I did not mind being watched”

The Biologist introduces us to a mysterious land, untouched by civilisation for decades, and devoid of any humanoid lifeforms; but is that the truth? We follow our narrator as she discovers that the information she’s been given my not be accurate, and wonders just what this place is that she’s been sent to.

Our narrator is flawed. As all the best characters are, and her introverted and highly observational nature makes her the perfect person to tell the happenings and discoveries of the Twelfth expedition. The book is written in a jornal format, which works brilliantly to build tension as you are reading. Throughout the book you have major ‘dont-go-around-that-corner’ feels. 

If the book was in another volunteers perspective who’s career wasn’t looking beyond things people normally see, I’m sure there wouldn’t be nearly as much exquisite detail. Though, considering how fascinating the book is, I would happily have read the book from each characters perspective.

“Can you really imagine what it was like in those first moments, peering down into that dark space and seeing that? Perhaps you can. Perhaps you’re staring at it right now.

The prose throughout the book is perfectly descriptive and filled with the kind of Stephen King esque bone chilling quotes that you keep with you for a while. The memory of the book itself weighs like a heavy breath on my chest, one that I still feel when I glance at it on the shelf.

I read Annihilation in one sitting, completely unable and unwilling to put it down. I can’t accurately express just how much I felt effected by this book other than to say you are surely missing out should you decide not to read it! The urge to discover the mystery will ensure you race through the book and the spine tingling chill you receive from the events that occur will leave you making sure you door is locked at night! Seriously, read it. Read it now. 

“There shall be in the planting in the shadows a grace and a mercy that shall bloom dark flowers, and their teeth shall devour and sustain and herald the passage of an age”

RATING:

★★★★★