Much like the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority is easy to read, engaging, somewhat addictive, and beautifully written. And yet, I still can’t say that I enjoy this series as much as I would like to. I still get the feeling that there’s no there there, that I am going to finish the third book and none of the questions will be answered, that the author has created a world too rich, too complex, too mysterious to ever adequately explain it. Authority answered some questions, but no where near as many as I had hoped and no where near as completely as I would have liked. It also seems as though the book is filled with inexplicable decisions/stubbornness by the various characters that seemingly had no purpose but to stretch the plot to where it could be sustained for 300 pages.
I find myself in a strange place with these books. I like them, I really do, and yet the reviews I’ve written for the first two entries have been somewhat negative (not to mention rambling). In part, I am still reserving judgment until I have read the last book. I am, however, beginning to wonder why these books weren’t one or two volumes. Yes, they’d make a long single book–900 or so pages. But I think a good editor could have shortened book two considerably without losing anything necessary, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the same thing about the third one. Not that much of a big deal–I’ve never been a fan of editing just for the purpose of editing–but I feel like this series is a somewhat large financial investment given the return.
Anyway, I really am rambling now. To put it more succinctly, these books are worth reading, but something seems to be missing. And I’m not sure I am going to find it.