341 pages

English language

Published Dec. 25, 2014

ISBN:
978-0-374-10410-8
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
851421063

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (111 reviews)

"In the second volume of the Southern Reach Trilogy, questions are answered, stakes are raised, and mysteries are deepened. In Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer introduced Area X--a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. This was the first volume of a projected trilogy; well in advance of publication, translation rights had already sold around the world and a major movie deal had been struck. Just months later, Authority, the second volume, is here. For thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X has taken the form of a series of expeditions monitored by a secret agency called the Southern Reach. After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez, aka "Control," is the team's newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to …

2 editions

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

It's oddly refreshing to come across a book and realize I can't neatly fit it into a specific genre. Like yes, at it's core this is basically a mystery, but this is no Agatha Christie novel. There's no point to paying attention to every single passing detail and comment so you can figure it out before the big exposition reveal at the end. Because there are no explanations, and that's exactly the point. Is it horror? There are some spooky bits that are definitely supernatural, but everything is played so straight without a hint of camp that it doesn't exactly hit the right tone that you'd expect, and there's so much other stuff happening in between that that label doesn't really stick either. It's kind of its own thing.

This book felt like puzzle where you're intentionally not given all the pieces and you're meant to extrapolate between the gaps, …

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Not just more Annihilation

4 stars

It took me a few weeks to read Authority whereas I got through Annihilation very quickly. In retrospect I would've enjoyed this more if I read it quicker and got more immersed in it as a result. I did enjoy Annihilation more, for the most part. Much of Authority involved spending time with the unlikeable Control with a growing sense of things not being quite right. It's interesting, weirdly bureaucratic and the ending is excellent. Definitely going to read Acceptance now.

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

I didn’t like the shift away from Area X to the Southern Reach, esp the office politics and spy stuff. 

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A much tougher read than Annihilation. You only really understand the scope of what's happening in the last 50 pages or so. Up until then, you're wading through bureaucracy and childhood trauma with only the occasional glimpse into something more sinister. I think it works? The character's quite twisted-up inside and his defenses are always up, so it makes sense that the story would be so dense. But I can't be sure. It warrants re-reading.

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

All the mystery of the first novel, plus office politics. I envy VanderMeer's writing style. He provides enough detail to give his worlds vibrant life, but does it in a way that's also ruthlessly efficient. There's an element of poetry to his prose, where every word is given weight and delivered for maximum impact.

Authority's main character, Control, is a man who's been playing the subterfuge game for a long time, and who's experienced enough failures to make him cautious in some regards and reckless in others. VanderMeer seemed to revel in Control's inner thoughts, with every statement and movement made by other characters subject to Control's analysis.

Looking forward to Acceptance.

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

It's impossible for me to think of this book just on its own merits and not couched in the fact that I read this after ripping through Annihilation in a day, hoping for more half human monsters stalking through reeds. Even though I knew it was completely different, even though I finished VanderMeer's Ambergris earlier this year where every book is vastly different from the previous one, I was disappointed as I was reading. I was always holding my breath for that sharp turn back into waxing poetic about the eerie flora and fauna of area x.

But if I put aside the fact that it did not drip feed me more of exactly the same (which I desperately want, annihilation was too short!!!) it was a slow, creeping, itchy book, and it was good. Where annihilation was like panicked ripping through a wall of vines to see what is …

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'LibraryThing'

5 stars

Wow. This book has a very different mood from the first in the trilogy, but just like it it sucked me in from a slow and uncertain start to completely taking over head for a few days after I finished it. I love the simultaneous vividness and vagueness of the thing that looms over this trilogy's world, and the endless ambiguity of who "should" prevail through the whole story. Looking forward to the final book.

reviewed Authority by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, #2)

Review of 'Authority' on 'Storygraph'

2 stars

I think the way this book could have been improved was to chop out the first 2/3 of it, and then add the remaining bits to either the end of the first book or the beginning of the third. Perhaps this was a flaw as a reader, but I simply did not care about most of this book. The ending was fantastic, and reminded me why I enjoyed the first book so much. But so much of the book dragged...I'm hoping the final book can recover it for me. My overall suggestion would be to read all three together. Perhaps that would make it less annoying.

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  • Quests (Expeditions)
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