The science fiction novel Annihilation, by Jeff Vandermeer, is the first in the Southern Reach series. This novel explores the mysterious section of a place outside of the city's boundaries, a place only known as Area X, where a large environmental disaster happened many years previously. When her husband does not return from Expedition 11, the biologist volunteers to be a part of Expedition 12. The novel explores themes of humanity, love and loss, as well as what it means to be human. It pushes the reader to question what they know to be real and made up.