After thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X—a seemingly malevolent landscape surrounded by an invisible border and mysteriously wiped clean of all signs of civilization—has been a series of expeditions overseen by a government agency so secret it has almost been forgotten: the Southern Reach.
Following the tumultuous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the agency is in complete disarray.
John Rodrigues (aka "Control") is the Southern Reach's newly appointed head. Working with a distrustful but desperate team, a series of frustrating interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, Control begins to penetrate the secrets of Area X. But with each discovery he must confront disturbing truths about himself and the agency he's pledged to serve.
Whereas Annihilation took you through the creepy landscape Area X, full of forests and overgrown moss and lighthouses and tower/tunnnels, Authority takes you through the creepy landscape of the Southern Reach, full of dank examination rooms and locked drawers and cluttered offices. Right away, Annihilation will answer some of your most burning questions from Annihilation, but immediately raise more.
If you are on the fence about whether to continue this trilogy, rest assured that Authority is not just a continuation of Annihilation. Rather, it's a complication of it, a counterpoint.