#CBR9 Review #133

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

I was thoroughly intrigued by Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, which I read in preparation for the Natalie Portman adaptation to be released in 2018. Of course, since my library had the next two books in the trilogy, I thought, Why not? and borrowed the whole set. I am delighted to discover a strange and thoroughly interesting series of books from a talented and inventive writer.

The events of Annihilation are written from the perspective of the biologist. VanderMeer switches gears here, and he writes from the perspective of Control, a man who has been made director of Southern Reach following the events of Annihilation. We find out what happens after the biologist ends her tale, and the fallout that ensues. We find out pieces of Control’s past and relationship to the past director, which also somewhat illuminates the nature of Area X. And we end up with a lot more questions about the future. In fact, Authority ends on a cliffhanger, making you wonder how VanderMeer will choose to end the book.

I realize I am being kind of vague. But I don’t think saying a lot about the book does you much good. It’s best to go in with as little knowledge as possible and let the uncertainty become part of the experience. VanderMeer is a skilled writer, and I am eager to see how he finishes the trilogy. If you’ve read any of his other work, would you recommend it? And where should I go next? I haven’t scouted him out terribly closely on Goodreads, but I’d be open to reading his other work.

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