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The Apocalypse Codex (A Laundry Files Novel) Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. See more
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“Smart, literate, funny.”—New York Times bestselling author Lev Grossman, Time
“Well written, well reasoned, and thoroughly entertaining. Dig into the Laundry Files—there’s a mad joy inherent to these books that is difficult to find anywhere else.”—The Maine Edge
“A weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A fabulous, out-of-control paranormal espionage horror thriller.”—Genre Go Round Reviews
About the Author
Charles Stross, born in 1964, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for best novella (“The Concrete Jungle”), Stross has had his work translated into more than twelve languages. He has worked as a pharmacist, software developer, and tech-industry journalist.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have been following my reviews on this series, you know I prefer the times when Stross is making satire or spoofing workplaces. The second book, Jennifer Morgue, wasn't as good because it was just a typical action book with a great protagonist. This book returns to the template of Jennifer Morgue. There is just action in this book and effectively only a nod to his asinine workplace.
Actually, as I write this I'm more and more frustrated with The Apocalypse Codex. I enjoyed it, but there were just so many dull parts. The first book was 100% first person following Bob. After that, multiple perspectives have been creeping in, and they reached a peak in this novel. The Bob parts are an oasis in a vast desert that spanned the spectrum from boring and pointless to frustrating and insulting. So a solid quarter or so of the book I zoned out on.
Humor is still here, I laughed a good amount and looked forward to continuing the book when I had put it down. As such, I recommend you continue this series, especially since the next one is supposed to return it to its glory.
The series as a whole is still an easy recommend to anyone, but frankly this book is a very low 4 stars.
For those who are just wondering, is this series any good? My ranking should make my opinion obvious enough. This is such a fun genre, and Stross has it mastered. Others have done modern Cthulhu, but Stross does it best. His mix of computer tech and eldritch signs is perfect. It never feels like cheesy spellpunk.
The frozen alternate world destroyed by nazi-summoned eldritch horrors remains one of my all-time favourite moments, but here we revisit Stross' favourite, the pyramid of the sleeper. It doesn't take a genius to see that we'll be seeing more of that enigmatic sleeper later. I can't wait.
The mix of Harry Palmer style spy thriller and Lovecraftian horror is just right. This one also has some witchy-poo-stuff, but it's alright, it turns out not to be bad (I feared it might). It will be interesting to see where things are headed with those characters in the future, but after Rhesus Chart it seems likely we'll be seeing them again, with Bob on a more even footing.
"The Jennifer Morgue" used James Bond as the jump-off point, "The Fuller Memorandum" was a mole hunt of the sort John leCarre did so well.
"The Apocalyse Codex" puts Bob into the world of Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaize (a nicely judged agent designator 'Bashful Incendiary', Stross has a great sense of humour).
We learn a bit more about the American opposite numbers, the Black Chamber (in theory they are on our side). By the end of the story, Bob has also learned rather more about his own organisation than he'd previous suspected.
The whole Laundry series does a wonderful job of integrating real history, spy novels and Lovecraftian menace into real page turners.