First Chapter Thoughts: Authority by Jeff Vandermeer

I recently finished Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (read the review here), and while I’ve gotten mixed input from others about the rest of the trilogy, I can’t help but be immensely curious. So I’ve picked up the second book, Authority, and we’re already off to an interesting start.

For starters, despite many of them being dead, the surveyor, the biologist, and the anthropologist are all back at Southern Reach headquarters. So THAT’S a hook. I’m immediately wondering about the movie’s ending and how much it pulled from this, but we’ll see.

Our new POV character, with a name this time, is Control – the new director of the Southern Reach. I’m admittedly a little sad to go back to a third person, male POV, and I think something of the first book’s character is lost in the process, but the external perspective on the biologist (terse is definitely one way of describing her) is fascinating. Control also seems interesting in his own right, albeit not particularly likeable. He’s got people to please and a mystery to get to the heart of, and underneath that, a family legacy to support. Fascinatingly, this is one of those sequels where we know what’s up, or at least part of it, because we’ve read the first book; so we know more than he does.

I’m not sure where Authority is going just yet, but it seems we’re going to be learning more about the Southern Reach, and not just Area X itself.

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