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Autoridad (2014)

Autoridad (2014)

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3.72 of 5 Votes: 4
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About book Autoridad (2014)

This second book in the Southern Reach trilogy had the same feel as the first (which I liked a lot). But I really liked the narrator of the first (the biologist) a lot more than the narrator of this book. I thought he was quite ineffectual, although for me he redeemed himself by the end. I can't say much else without spoilers, only that I am looking forward to reading the final installment- Acceptance- and clearing up some of the remaining mysteries- and I am hoping to re-meet some of the previous characters. Stepping out of Area X and into the bureaucracy of the Southern Reach, Authority is the analysis of Annilihation's data. Protag "Control" spends the book trying to wrap his head around all the mysteries of the place and its history. He engages with the community of spooks and scientists at SR, hearing and trying out all their personal theories and frames. Something about the subject matter, and not a little Control himself, makes this a futile exercise in psychedelic paranoia. Personal anxieties and aesthetic fixations intermix freely with the environment and phenomena of Area X. In the hands of most writers, this premise would either land on a conclusive explanation, told in blunt exposition or narration, or dribble off into a mess of stream-of-consciousness imagery. But VanderMeer keeps a tight focus, somehow getting a propulsive plot out of office work - attending staff meetings, reading files, reporting to the boss, etc. It's not quite as lightning-fast as Annihilation, but it still has that pulp sense of urgency. The setting and Control's brain-workings are eloquent and rich, dense with artful imagery and metaphor, and it's all effectively calculated to the service of the unique weirdness underlying the trilogy. The meta-level zoom out in Authority is a clever way to keep working the vein without letting the storytelling wear thin. Control's psychology comes off a fair bit blunter than Ghost Bird's, partly just because it gets more exposition, but the whole distant-demanding-mother dead-artist-father thing never really overcomes its triteness. That plus his personal amorphousness and distance took away from the experience at points. Overall an impressive and enjoyable book, much meatier than the Annihilation. Excited to finish the series.

Do You like book Autoridad (2014)?

first half was terrible, but came alive in second half. can't wait for the conclusion!

Way too hard to stay connected to, will not be reading the 3rd book in the trilogy.

Wow...I cannot wait to read the third book! Book number 2 is quite mind blowing!

Missing the magic of book 1, and drags on way too long in the middle.

2.5 stars

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