Authority is the second novel in The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer.
Finished on: 4.3.2018
[Here’s my review of Annihilation, the first novel.]
John Rodriguez, who likes to be called Control, has recently taken over the Southern Reach agency. It’s a disorienting agency and Control has trouble getting his bearings. People seem to keep things from him. His handler, called The Voice, isn’t happy with him and his progress. His assistant Grace might be plotting against him. And anyway, what is the deal with Area X in the first place?
Authority gives us an entirely different perspective on Area X than Annihilation did and I loved it in all its fucked-up weirdness.
Control has a very lapidary way of telling his story which I quite liked, even though it sometimes gets a little too polished, too smooth – at times I caught myself as I was carried along by the words while barely taking in their meaning.
But I didn’t just like the style, I liked Control himself and his mind-boggling family history. The only thing that didn’t work for me regarding him was his obsession with the Biologist – that read mostly as entirely inappropriate to me, and creepy, but not in the good way.
Southern Reach as an institution was creepy in the perfect way, though. There were so many things that gave me goosebumps here, or just left me with my jaw hitting the floor.
And looking from this side of the border on the area answered some questions and raised about three million more. I do hope that the conclusion to the trilogy will answer them all without losing its delicious weirdness. But I have to admit that it’s probably one of the sequels to anything, really, that I worry most about. Because expectations are pretty high here.
Summarizing: gimme more.