Authority is the second book in the Southern Reach trilogy. It is very different from the first book and yet not really all that different.
In Annihilation the main character, the Biologist, is coming out of a state of confusion into a world that is full of confusion. This is very evident in the writing and the structure of the story. In Authority the main character, Control (yes that is his name), is grounded in reality and has to learn how to let in the world of Area X into his perception of the world. Because of this difference, Authority is almost like a whole different book.
However, Authority is still very much like Annihilation in the writing. VanderMeer's writing style, to date, in the Southern Reach series is beautiful. You can pick any paragraph in the book and just read the sentences and become enchanted, regardless of the actual plot. The writing in Authority is less lerical then Annihilation, but it is still masterful.
If you want a strong action packed plot, then you may not enjoy this trilogy. The focus is really on language and people. The plot is almost secondary. Yet there is a plot, and it does move forward. I found myself engaged and hooked from the start of the book.
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