Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

Authority is the second book in the Southern Reach trilogy. I started reading the trilogy because the premise of the series really intrigued me! Since I’ve started reading the book, the trilogy has been adapted as a Netflix movie featuring Natalie Portman. I have seen it yet since I want to finish the books before watching the movie because it sums up the whole trilogy.


Surrounded by an invisible barrier for thirty years now stands Area X. A place where all signs of civilization have disappeared. Twelve expeditions, all tragically useless, have been launched to explore it. They have all been supervised by the Southern Reach, an almost forgotten governmental agency.

The new head of the agency, John Rodriguez, has inherited a distrustful and desperate team, loads of questions, secret notes, and hours of anxiety-inducing recordings. But most of all, he wants to know what happened to the last expedition that went to Area X.


When I first read Authority, it had been quite a while since I’ve read the first book in the series, Annihilation. So I didn’t really remember at first what happened and why the events in the book happened. But, in the end, it was quite easy to pick up the story again.

When I read Annihilation, I found the story really compelling, and I couldn’t get enough of it! This is why I was excited when I finally picked up Authority. I figured I would get the same rhythm in the story, the same mystery. But I’ve got to say that I was quite disappointed in this aspect of the book.

First of all, it starts really slowly compared to the previous book. And since you’re following a new character, you’re basically starting from scratch again, which was really disappointing. I had to wait at least halfway to the book for the story to finally pick up some pace and really get into the subject of the mystery of Area X.

Should you read Authority?

Overall, once I got to that point in the book, it wasn’t a complete letdown. I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to read the final one! But it took some time for me to get to the point when I couldn’t put Authority down, which just never happened with Annihilation.

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