Authority by Jeff VanderMeer
Date read: 10th July 2018 – 14th July 2018
Page Count: 341
Format: Hardcover (from local library)
I reviewed ‘Annihilation’ by Jeff VanderMeer here. This review will contain spoilers for that book, so make sure you’ve looked over that review first, or read the book! Or, you know, you just don’t care and you’re here purely for my content (which I highly doubt is the case).
Authority definitely lives up to its name. Whereas in Annihilation you follow the story of four women trekking into the ominously named ‘Area X’, in this sequel, the novel focuses more on the politics and the leadership of the Southern Reach, the company that monitors and looks after Area X.
The protagonist of this novel is a man named Control, formerly John Rodriguez, who becomes the new head of Southern Reach after the demise of the Director in the first novel (who, as a recap for those of you that haven’t read the first book or read it a long time ago, was the Psychologist on the twelfth expedition).
A large part of this novel is dedicated to the backstabbings and political stirrings of the Southern Reach, which means that this book definitely isn’t as exciting as the first one. However, I still enjoyed it, especially the elements of the novel that explained and elaborated on the events of Annihilation, made especially engaging by the presence of the biologist from the first novel.
Ultimately, I wouldn’t say that this book was better than the first, despite how much I enjoyed reading about ‘Control’, who, as a character, was certainly engaging to read from the point of view of.