Authority (Southern Reach, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority (Southern Reach, #2)

The bone-chilling, hair-raising second installment of the Southern Reach TrilogyAfter 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 An...

Details Authority (Southern Reach, #2)

TitleAuthority (Southern Reach, #2)
Release DateMay 6th, 2014
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
GenreScience Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy

Reviews Authority (Southern Reach, #2)

  • Richard
    I can't give this more than 2 stars because the center of the book drags along like a sacked brick. I tried and tried to get into it, but I couldn't remain interested.It just doesn't need 200 pages to get across the idea of the Southern Reach. Relationships barely develop past the first meetings and the whole thing feels stuck. I guess this mirrors the feelings the main characters are supposed to be experiencing in the least fun way possible.None...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    ”In the black water with the sun shining at midnight, those fruit shall come ripe and in the darkness of that which is golden shall split open to reveal the revelation of the fatal softness in the earth.” John A.K.A. Control has been made director of The Southern Reach Facility. The last director finagled her way onto the last expedition into Area X and has never been seen or heard from again. The assistant director doesn’t only dislike him...
  • carol.
    If Annihilation reminded me of Jeanette Winterson’s writing, then Authority reminded me of Kafka, but not the interesting Kafka, one of the boring ones, which surely if I say which one, my dear friends are going to quickly assure me that I’m quite wrong and there is no way Kafka could ever be boring with such Big Ideas. So maybe I don’t mean Kafka. Maybe I mean one of those other stodgy old writers from Advanced English who was clearly writ...
  • Stuart
    Holy crap, this book was unbearable! I'm trying to think of something good to say about this book...and failing. It reminds me of an unholy blend of the final season of Lost, The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, The Office, and Waiting for Godot. Endless trivial descriptions of bureaucracy, oblique dead-end details, and an obstinate refusal to further the plot in any way, other than with fruitless clues. It seems that fans of Annihilation were e...
  • Carmen
    SPOILER-FREE REVIEW"Imagine a situation, John, in which you are trying to contain something dangerous. But you suspect that containment is a losing game. That what you want to contain is escaping slowly, inexorably. That what seems impermeable is, in fact, over time, becoming very permeable. That the divide is more perforated than unperforated. And that whatever this thing is seems to want to destroy you but has no leader to negotiate with, no st...
  • Heidi The Reader
    The mystery of Area X continues with an FBI agent's entry into the Southern Reach. What's going on? Why can't anybody remember anything? Why is everyone so antagonistic? And why does everything smell bad? Rarely have I been so disappointed with a book as I was with Authority. The first entry in this series is a gripping, psychedelic adventure that reads like a nature-gone-wild acid trip. This book, on the other hand, is like going to work with a ...
  • Lyn
    The book begins with some delicious theatrical irony for the readers of Annihilation.I put Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeek’s 2014 environmental thriller, down with one hand while reaching for the sequel with the other.Authority is in a different style and tone than was its predecessor. Whereas the first book was a surreal dystopian nightmare, told from the first-person perspective of The Biologist from a series of journal entries, this is broader...
  • Hannah
    My thoughts on this are, you guessed it, complicated. This follow-up to Annhililation (which I LOVED.) is a very different beast. Set shortly after the events of the first book, it is completely different in feeling and in genre. It does not take place in Area X but rather in the Southern Reach itself where a new director has been placed who will have to try and figure out what is really going on.There is one thing I am absolutely sure of: Jeff V...
  • Fabian
    An important cardinal rule of trilogies is thoroughly broken with "Authority," Book 2 in the Southern Reach Trilogy. That which states that the second tome must build something out of the previous one, that its limits are expanded, that the adventure is transmogrified to its very apex (see, Star Wars episode 5, Godfather II, "Senor Vivo & the Coca Lord" in Louis de Bernieres' Latin American trilogy... heck, even Catching Fire was the better of al...
  • Roblee
    The author, evidently paid by the word, tells a very long and atmospheric tale, approximately 200 pages overlong. An intriguing last few chapters and ending could stand alone as prelude to the final book.
  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 3.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: 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 di...
  • Bradley
    Honestly, I wanted to stay longer in Area X, not get relegated to an almost sterile administration building for most of the novel.Control (the man, not the action) didn't even really begin to grow on me until well-past half-way mark. At least there were elements of spy-fiction, but in all honesty, the conflict in the novel was rather too light.I know we're not supposed to have answers in this kind of novel. I don't really expect them. It's all ab...
  • Timothy Urges
    The aftermath of Annihilation is dealt with in Authority. Questions are answered with questions. And minds are forced to open. This book takes a very different direction from the first book. I thought I was going to be disappointed, but half way through and to the end I came to highly enjoy it. There is a lot of setup. Every little detail is significant. Maybe I’m a masochist, but I enjoy the confusion.
  • Kai
    “It is superstition. But it might be true.”After the genius that was Annihilation, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Authority. Annihilation posed so many questions and left all of them unanswered. I hoped that its sequel would help offer some answers, but I already knew and feared that it wouldn't. So here we are, at the end of book II, none the wiser.Authority was weird. It was a huge mess, weird people and situations all over the place wi...
  • Trish
    To enable a new beginning the old has to make way.This continues the story of Area X, a part of what we now know is in the southern United States of America (somewhere in Florida to be more precise), that suddenly changed about 30 years ago. If the change really was sudden; there is still dispute about that. Anyway, about 30 years ago something happened and a form of border came down, shutting Area X off from the rest of the world. An agency, cal...
  • Sheila
    2.5 stars (somewhere between "meh" and "I liked it").This is a middle book and it shows. The last 20% of this book is great--full of action. But you have to slog through the first 80% to get there. Specifically, what I didn't care for:* I couldn't connect with the narrator.* Repetitive, slow-moving plot.* Instead of answers about Area X (Lovecraftian monsters? Aliens? A parallel dimension?), this is a book about government conspiracy/bureaucracy....
  • Sarah
    I was originally going to give this one star out of spite. I felt like I had to read it even though 30% in I hated it and knew it wouldn’t change. I don’t think the ending was worth holding out for if you don’t want to read book 3, but the ending was good. Therefore- 2 whole stars.Why didn’t I like this? Let me tell you!1. Do you like reviewing reports all day? Filing paperwork? Do you like complaining about the rotten honey smell of your...
  • Morgannah
    Welcome to Southern Reach: After touring Area X in Annihilation this second installment of the "Southern Reach" trilogy takes us to the Southern Reach facility where very few questions are answered, more unexplained stuff happens, and sh*t gets even weirder.Authority is a completely different piece of story telling than Annihilation. Where Annihilation is a short sweet shock to the system like an infection, Authority is a slow-building panic atta...
  • Melki
    About thirty-two years ago, along a remote southern stretch known as the "forgotten coast," an Event occurred that began to transform the landscape and simultaneously caused an invisible border or wall to appear.The women seem to recall little about Area X. They say almost nothing about what they saw and what happened to them during their expedition. John Rodriquez/Control is tasked with finding the facts. "What do you remember about your husband...
  • Josh
    In Annihilation, we were exposed to the strange and dangerous other world of Area X; terrain cut-off from the rest of land by some mysterious event. We followed the latest exhibition consisting of a biologist, surveyor, psychologist, and anthropologist into the unknown and watched the breakdown of sanity in big brother-like live streaming. In Authority, the ambiguity is as abundant as it was in the first book yet the characters are a little more ...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I read this book twice. I was 1/3 of the way through in the print and downloaded the audio because it is read by Bronson Pinchot, who I think is amazing. After finishing the book in audio, I went back and re-read the last 2/3, kind of backwards, starting from the last section and then deciding I should go ahead and re-read all of it to see what I had missed. I'm glad I did as there was a key scene I must have drifted off from in the audio.Area X ...
  • Lauren
    This book was frustrating to read. I did not find Control as intriguing a viewpoint character as the biologist, and he spent the vast majority of this book running from place to place not finding any answers. There were occasional moments that were engaging, such as Control's interviews with "the biologist", and much of the last quarter of the book. I still think that Vandermeer's writing is fantastic, and the creepy moments in the book are genui...
  • Ryan
    The Good:As with Annihilation, this is wonderfully tense. The prose is great, conveying this small town mystery/thriller with humour and creeping dread. Excellent setting, great ideas, and some very good characters.The Bad:Once again, there is almost zero resolution. It’s frustrating, and turns an excellent book into a merely good one. It's also a bit slow.'Friends' character the protagonist is most like:Control is a failed spy turned incompete...
  • David Katzman
    An unsettling study of the ineffable. The indescribable. A slowly constricting knot. Our human edifices are evanescent. Or as I say in my novel A Greater Monster , "A home is paper thin."Nature is a harsh taskmistress. Nature is implacable. We have been playing with fire for a long time now. Humans think they own the land. The clouds. The air. The water. We do not own it. It owns us. We've been borrowing it without paying back the principal. And...
  • Veronique
    And further down the rabbit hole we go...After the surreal narration of the first book, I did wonder what VanderMeer had in stock for us. Authority is very much different in the sense that we are not in the marshes anymore but seeing what is going on at the Southern Reach, government body in charge of investigating Area X. We are given some glimpses in their futile trials to understand what it is, its purpose and goal. There are other contrasting...
  • Mike
    The Floor beneath his shoes was grimy, almost sticky. The fluorescent lights above flickered at irregular intervals, and the tables and chairs seemed like something out of a high school cafeteria. He could smell the sour metal tang of a low quality cleaning agent, almost like rotting honey. The room did not inspire confidence in the Southern Reach. Far from the formidable, shadowy, mysterious organization it was portrayed as in Annihilation, the ...
  • Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews)
    1970-01-01’m betting, if you’re like me, you had a ton of questions at the end of the wonderful ANNIHILATION. If so, you’ll be glad to know that Authority answers quite a few of them. Not all, but a few, and it’s a perfect filling in the sandwich of awesome that is the Southern Reach trilogy. Authority picks up a few months after the disastrous events of Annihilation and the biologist is in the custody of So...
  • Jason
    5 StarsAuthority by Jeff Vandermeer, book two in the Southern Reach series is a fantastic read. This book is not your typical middle novel as it is a very different book from Annihilation. Vandermeer continues to prove to me what an amazing author that he is, versatile, verbose, and a gift for painting the vivid picture.Control is the star of this book and it takes place almost exclusively at the Southern Reach. This book is more of a mystery and...
  • André Oliveira
    2.5*, 3* ?What a mess.This book is so boring and slow and uninteresting.I just kept reading it because I loved the first one, Annihilation.The ending is exciting and now I want to read the third and final book in the series.But the truth is: My expectations are really really low.
  • Stephen
    Like its predecessor, Authority is a surreal, immersive and compelling read. In it we glimpse, the inner workings of the Southern Reach, the agency tasked with understanding and containing Area X. The title suggests someone is in control of the Reach. A better title would be Disintegration, as the agency, its staff and newly arrived Director John Rodriquez, who ironically calls himself Control, are collapsing. Real and imagined have become fluid....