Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Authority [review]


Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (Southern Reach Trilogy #2)
Published by FSG Originals on May 6, 2014
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.53 (as of 2018/03/19)

Spoiler-free Review 

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website


After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X–a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization–has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach. Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.

John Rodríguez (aka “Control”) is the Southern Reach’s newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he’s pledged to serve.

In Authority, the second volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Area X’s most disturbing questions are answered . . . but the answers are far from reassuring.

As some of you may remember, Annihilation clawed its way onto my all-time favorites list when I read it back in January. I finally picked up a copy of Authority recently and made my way back into the world of the Southern Reach. A friend of mine had warned me that the sequel was entirely different, and she was right. Authority is more of a behind-the-scenes look at the goings on of the mysterious government agency in charge of the expeditions. While some questions are answered, far more are dredged up.

He had not expected any of it to be beautiful, but it was beautiful.

Jeff VanderMeer blew me away with his writing once again. From the narrative voice to the characters, I found myself drawn into the story and into Control’s mind. I was as desperate to untangle the secrets as he was. While the middle lagged a bit as far as interest goes, the end of the book pulls the reader down under a wave of action and tension. After turning the last page, I found myself shaken and thirsting for the next book.

You’re a replica, but you’re your own person.

Authority is a fantastic sequel, although it doesn’t hold up to Annihilation in my book, mainly due to the lulls that made it hard to push through the middle. VanderMeer continues the captivating and enigmatic story of Area X and the Southern Reach and leaves you wanting more. I can only hope that Acceptance leaves me with a satisfying ending.


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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)

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