- Series: A Laundry Files Novel (Book 4)
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Ace; F First Edition edition (July 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781937007461
- ISBN-13: 978-1937007461
- ASIN: 1937007464
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 151 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Apocalypse Codex (A Laundry Files Novel) Hardcover – July 3, 2012
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About the Author
Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He holds degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs including pharmacist, technical author, software engineer, and freelance journalist. He is now a full-time writer.
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It's as if someone challenged the writer to come up with a bare bones outline of a story, then fill it in with every low-brow atheist trope possible. Imagine your typical socially autistic sneering British internet atheist writing a revenge fantasy about American Evangelical Christians. How many memes can he include?
"Lord Jeebus" - check
"itinerant bronze age rambler from the Levant" - check
"homosexuals and shellfish" - check
"Christians forcing women to breed a la' The Handmaid's Tale" - check
"don't want no book larnin" - check
"Bible is 3rd hand copies of misunderstood oral traditions" - check
Ad infinitum, ad tedium, ad nauseum.
I don't think the writer has actually ever met a real Christian. He just took material from Dawkins, Harris and Ehrman, tossed it into a word salad blender, added some occult and a big dollop of self-congratulatory smugness.
I don't know if I will go on to read the next one in the series. This one was so tedious that it has likely ruined the series for me.
Imagine an American mega church, based in Colorado (where else?), but one with a difference. The Bible it uses is not the King James nor the NIV, or rather, it is the King James, but with some special additions. Included are not merely the Deuterocanonical works of the Catholic Church or the Apocrypha used by Anglicans, but other books as well, most importantly the Book of St. Enoch.
This St. Enoch text, purported to have been written by the Enoch of the Old Testament, is different from other Biblical texts. It was certainly not written by Enoch, and is equally certainly not Christian. In fact, its whole point is the resurrection of an ancient being most familiar to fans of H. P. Lovecraft's writings-- particularly the Cthulhu Mythos.
That these "Christians" have been convinced that bringing such a monster to life, and opening a way for it through multiple human sacrifices, would be a way to resurrect Jesus Christ, is frightening enough-- that they apparently have the means to do it is terrifying. Bob Howard, along with a pair of 'outside assets', must stop them.
"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.
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.