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Authority : a novel by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority : a novel (edition 2014)

by Jeff VanderMeer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,540977,686 (3.6)1 / 92
"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 reveal themselves--and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that. The Southern Reach trilogy will conclude in fall 2014 with Acceptance"--"In the second volume of the Southern Reach trilogy, Area X's most troubling questions are answered... but the answers are far from reassuring"--… (more)
Title:Authority : a novel
Authors:Jeff VanderMeer
Info:New York : FSG Originals, 2014.
Collections:Your library

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Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

  1. 20
    Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer (sturlington)
  2. 31
    Solaris by Stanisław Lem (Tuirgin)
    Tuirgin: Despite the concept of Area X being strikingly similar to the Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic, there are also echos of Stanisław Lem's Solaris—the idea of a type of communication so alien to human modes of communication that it can be harmful to us.

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Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Although Jeff Vandermeer introduces us to a host of new characters and steeps us in the politics and intrigue of the southern reach, a shadowy agency that studies and protects the little-understood Area X, I felt that the information covered by the first 200 or so pages could have been connected to the central plot in a more harmonious way. The story really picks up in the last 100 pages and gets back to basics as the two main characters begin to explore the enigmas of Area X's creation and spread, as well as how it is affecting them. I'm looking forward to reading the third and final book in the series. ( )
  TomPfeifer | Dec 12, 2019 |
Supremely disappointing. I loved Annhilation and found the dreamy, distant narrative fit beautifully with Area X, the expedition and the main character's unreliability in terms of her memory, and her willingness to share details.

Authority has almost double the page count and about a tenth of the story. I have no idea why it's so long, the plot doesn't warrant it. It's dull, repetitive and uninteresting. I don't agree with VanderMeer's focus on specific details, structure or characters. There's such an interesting idea here that doesn't get fleshed out all. The concept of a secret agency harboring potentially alien/unknown secrets sounds like a terrific idea, but the whole book is lifeless. It needed a shot of adrenaline, three of four more story beats, and needed to be cut down like crazy. A few cool moments to be sure, and I will be reading Acceptance unquestionably.

I don't want to sound like it's poorly written, either. It's not. VanderMeer has a wonderful way with words and creeps you out in a fun way when he wants to. But here...man alive, I can't tell you how bored I was reading it. I've heard this one is very divisive, so I shouldn't be surprised. ( )
  hskey | Jul 11, 2019 |
As dull as I found some parts of this book, I've got to admit that Whitby is one of the most fascinating and oddly lovable characters I've ever read. I could read an entire series just about him. ( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
This review and others posted over at my blog.

I totally can’t describe this book without launching into a ramble. This book directly follows the events of book one, but delves further into the history of the Southern Reach and slowly reveals tidbits from prior expeditions into Area X. So, if you haven’t done it yet, read Annihilation.

As with the first book, much of Area X remains unexplained and unsettling. This is definitely a slow burn series (at least, the first two books have been), so you have to be willing to follow these characters and their thoughts, with less action. This doesn’t always work for me, but in this case, it has.

As Control tries to understand wtf is going on at the Southern Reach and in Area X, it feels like he’s starting to go crazy. The biologist is back, only she’s definitely different.

I really don’t know what to say about this book, without struggling to describe everything going on. But after finishing this book I was very excited to dive into the next one. Each detail revealed left me ready for more and the ending had me like !!! Couldn’t wait to figure out what the hell was going on. ( )
  MillieHennessy | Mar 30, 2019 |
Still creepy, even as most of this takes place outside of Area X at the headquarters of the Southern reach organization. This is a densely packed collection of nightmares and hypnotic suggestions as the central character identifies himself as 'Control' even as he clearly demonstrates that he has little.

This is a great middle section ramping up the stakes from the first and making me both nervous and excited about the third. I cannot read the phrase, "I am not the biologist," without all the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. ( )
3 vote asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aaltonen, EinariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blomeyer, MarionCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kellner, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strick, CharlotteCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In Control's dreams it is early morning, the sky deep blue with just a twinge of light.
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