Authority: A Novel

Authority: A Novel - Jeff VanderMeer

Not as into this as the first book. Not at all. I understand the tone change, but I guess the shift after the wonderful first book is just an unavoidable let-down. I like Control a lot, and I like the biologist a lot, and I really hope the final book doesn't end with the culmination of Typical Lead Man/Lead Woman Heterosexual Romance. It probably will though.

The cliffhanger is frustrating, though I appreciate how in the last portion the climatic moments kept coming and coming until the final crescendo, which doesn't even really get a chance to drop. There's suspense all the way to the end, and you're left desperate to read the final novel for closure. Frustrating but well done.

I felt like throughout the work there were too many scenes that amounted to needless bloat, and sentences that read like odd non-sequiturs, but maybe I was missing something. Still, I think quite a few bits could have been edited out without losing anything, and making it more satisfying instead of oddly meandering at times.

I want to know more about Grace's life and the woman she was in love with. I want to know how deep her devotion to the director goes, if it's romantic in nature. (I'll read it as such regardless of the canon.)

There's a brief mention, at some point in the story, about "What about people who don't identify as men or women?" While I appreciate an acknowledgement of trans people existing, and nonbinary ones at that, I do not appreciate how regularly cisgender authors throw in a brief, one-line nod and then you see nothing of trans people ever again. This isn't representation and it's not satisfying to see as a trans reader. Make a trans character with more than one scene or three lines and then we'll talk.