• Authority

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Jeff VanderMeer
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The second volume of the extraordinary Southern Reach trilogy. The Southern Reach is a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten.

Following the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the second audiobook of the Southern Reach trilogy introduces John Rodriguez, the new head of the government agency responsible for the safeguarding of Area X.

His first day is spent grappling with the fall-out from the last expedition. Area X itself remains a mystery. But, as instructed by a higher authority known only as The Voice, the self-styled Control must battle to 'put his house in order'. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the mysteries of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he's promised to serve.

Undermined and under pressure to make sense of everything, Rodriguez retreats into his past in a labyrinthine search for answers. Yet the more he uncovers, the more he risks, for the secrets of the Southern Reach are more sinister than anyone could have known.

©2014 Jeff VanderMeer Creative, Inc. (P)2014 2014 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Praise for Annihilation:

"A teeming science fiction that draws on Conrad and Lovecraft alike… The writing itself has a clarity that makes the abundancy of the setting more powerful. Annihilation shows signs of being the novel that will allow VanderMeer to break through to a new and larger audience" (Sunday Telegraph)
"A lasting monument to the uncanny… you find yourself afraid to turn the page… We are less than 200 pages in to the Southern Reach Trilogy… and already home is a distant memory, and an unreliable one, too: for who's to say that home was not always X at heart?" (Simon Ings, Guardian)
"Annihilation owes much to the explorations of psychogeographical landscapes in early JG Ballard and also to the work of the old masters of weird fiction such as HP Lovecraft and William Hope Hodgson, with their love of nameless horrors haunting liminal realms. VanderMeer synthesises these influences to create a tale with a deliciously creepy atmosphere of dread" (Financial Times)
"Annihilation is a weird and wonderful novel. And the hardback edition is as beautiful as the prose between the covers.' Metro‘A tautly told, self-contained story, informed and illuminated by the flawed and very human voice of its narrator" (Arc)
"Immersive, insightful and often deeply bloody creepy, this is a startlingly good novel. If the sequels live up to it, then the Southern Reach series will be a major work" (***** SFX Magazine)
"A tense and chilling psychological thriller about an unravelling expedition and the strangeness within us. A little Kubrick, a lot of Lovecraft, the novel builds with an unbearable tension and claustrophobic dread that lingers long afterwards. I loved it" (Lauren Beukes)
"Original and beautiful, maddening and magnificent" (Warren Ellis)

"Creepy and fascinating." (Stephen King)

What listeners say about Authority

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Profile Image for matt hall
  • matt hall
  • 01-12-18

Superb

These books are unconventional and challenging. This volume builds on the actual ceiling horror of the first and is no less profoundly disturbing.

This isn't a conventional thriller, there's no pounding adrenalin or just-in-time suspense, just psychological disconnection and a sense of disconcerting otherness watching a man unravel in the face of the incomprehensible.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 10-27-17

Boring

This was one of the most boring books I ever read. So many needless details and descriptions. I barely could finish it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 05-03-22

Hypnotic

Sure, I enjoyed it. Not sure I'd recommend it to anyone because it's hella weird and meandering but I wanted more Annihilation and it was satisfying based on that criteria

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Profile Image for Julian Richardson
  • Julian Richardson
  • 11-12-21

Meandering

I finished listening to this on my second attempt. It is so different to the first book in the trilogy. Less action, more contemplation. The audio quality and the narration are good.

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  • dan smith
  • 10-01-21

good narrator held me through

lots of people have said this is a boring book. I totally understand why. I often feel the same with character based stories. but the texture and feeling of the writing as well as the narrator's performance just about kept me engaged. and was worth it in the end. its like a modern lovecraft in many ways. he certainly describes everything both wood and trees. but its all part of the 'Terrior"! looking forward to pt 3

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  • Jesse Woodd
  • 08-02-21

Delightful and intriguing cosmic horror !

If you want a slow burn of a cosmic horror book then this is the book for you !! Is equally fascinating as it is unsettling :)

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  • russ
  • 06-06-21

I guess you've read part 1 if you're here

and I don't need to tell you how awesome it is. love this trilogy so much

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  • Alan Bowman
  • 03-31-21

Can I have my ten hours back please.

The first book of the trilogy fell a bit flat for me, but I decided to persist, figuring the story may be a slow burn. To my disappointment, the second instalment just didn’t deliver the goods. There is some nice writing and interesting concepts in places, and if you are a die hard (and patient) fan of strange fiction, you may get something from this. For me, I was bored throughout. The story never engaged me and I found it hard not to zone out most of the time. The whole thing felt a bit like a ball of candy floss. Looks fun at a glance, but once you start to consume it, it just dissolves into nothing.

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  • jojo
  • 04-28-20

Staggering in the wake of Annihilation

A tremendous continuation of the Southern Reach trilogy, surprising and suspenseful, full of psychological intrigue and creeping dread.

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  • Andrew
  • 03-28-20

Not much happens here

It's essential for the delivery of the third book, but I found most of this book to be slow. Nothing made me want to stop listening, but until the finale I was just dwindling along.