Last weeks novel was Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.
This second installment in the Southern Reach trilogy is very different from the first.
It doesn’t take place in Area X like Book 1. Instead, it takes you into the government building that reigns over Area X exploration and what knowledge there is of it. John Rodriguez, or Control as he chooses to be called, is sent to the Southern Reach facility as its new head. Having no prior involvement with Southern Reach, he has to start from scratch.
The first person narration continues in this installment and is just as effective as in the first. As the reader, you know nothing more than what Control does, which is both a gripping and confusing experience. It makes the novel so readable, and really pulls you through, unable and unwilling to stop until you get the answers it dangles in front of you.
In this volume, we are promised answers, but not peace, not comfort or reassurance. This we get in spades. Answers are given, in fragments and incomplete data. It reminds me of accessing redacted documents. You get answers, sort of, but mostly just more questions.
Names are restored to a point in this book, and it is almost stranger than the lack thereof from the first novel.
I loved this installment. I loved that I had moments of confusion so strong I wondered if I had lost pages somehow, but within a few more pages, the point of confusion is revealed, if not always clarified.
4 out of 5. Just as good as the first volume, and in a wholly different way, which is wonderful in and of itself.
So, on to this week!
Probably not hard to guess, but next week with be…
Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer.
Book 3 in the Southern Reach Trilogy. This series will come to an end, and I am anticipating, with some trepidation, its close.
That’s all for this Novel Monday. See you Wednesday for a Special post!