Sunday, July 20, 2014

79:120 Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

The second book in the Southern Reach trilogy.  We left the last book at the end of the 12th expedition to Area X with everyone but the biologist dead and she was heading north away from any form of civilization.  Authority starts off in the Southern Reach with Control (aka John Rodrigues) having just been put in charge of the operations there which deal with Area X since the previous director was part of the last expedition.  The assistant director is openly hostile while doing her job and making it clear that she feels he is there temporarily until the old director returns which she feels will happen any time since the other members of the expedition have already returned.  Control is feeling anything but in control as he works to try and get information out of the returned biologist and learn his way around Southern Reach, especially once he starts digging into the previous director's things: drawers filled with papers rotting under a live unpotted plant and a dead mouse, a closet with words written all over it that seem to have some significance but what he can't imagine, and a photograph of her as a child with the lighthouse keeper who was lost to Area X when it sprang up.  Now he is trying to piece together just what has gone wrong at Southern Reach and what it means in regards to Area X but the more he digs, the stranger things seem to get until he's not even about the agency he works for.

I didn't find this one quite as slow-reading as the last one but I was really hoping for answers to all the unanswered questions from the last book and I got a few and pieces of answers for a few more but in all, this seemed to raise even more questions.  It is a bit frustrating to wait and hope that the questions that I have will actually be answered, at least in enough of a fashion that I don't want to throw things, in the last book.  I'm enjoying the mystery for the most part although I wish the characters were easier to relate too.

Page count:   340p/19,502p ytd/200,540p lifetime

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