I found Authority—the second installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy—a scarier read than Annihilation. The setting here is the Southern Reach, on the doorstep of Area X. But that setting on our side of the border makes the creeping dread of Annihilation feel even more real. We learn a bit more about the various factions pushing their separate agendas with respect to Area X, and we learn a bit more about the history of the expeditions there—including the one we experience in Annihilation. Through it all Vandermeer keeps ratcheting up the paranoia. I have the final installment in hand and I am very curious to see how all of this resolves (or doesn’t).