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The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel Hardcover – July 11, 2017
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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“Stross still spins a heck of a yarn.” ―Kirkus Reviews on The Delirium Brief
"Gaudy and gory....This is Stross in one of his darker moods....The political side of the book...signals some of the real-world anxieties that stand behind the entire series." ―Locus on The Delirium Brief
“A fast-paced blend of espionage thrills, mundane office comedy and Lovecraftian horror.” ―SFX on The Rhesus Chart
“Alternately chilling and hilarious.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Jennifer Morgue
“Combines a le Carré-style espionage thriller with Lovecraftian horror to great effect.” ―The Guardian on The Fuller Memorandum
“Smart, literate, funny.”―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians
“A bizarre yet effective yoking of the spy and horror genres.”―The Washington Post Book World
“Imagine a world where gnarly Lovecraftian demons are all too real yet are routinely neutralized with high-tech wizardry by a supersecret British spy agency, and you'll get an inkling of the genre-bending territory Stross explores in his Laundry Files novels.” ―Booklist on The Fuller Memorandum
About the Author
CHARLES STROSS is a British SF writer, born in Leeds, England, and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has worked as a tech writer, a programmer, a journalist, and a pharmacist; he holds degrees in pharmacy and in computer science. He has won three Hugo Awards for his short fiction, including in 2014 for Equoid, a Laundry Files novella originally published on Tor.com.
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In "Delirium Brief" the Laundry finds itself in dire straits. CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is worsening. The agency has lost many of its longtime agents to death or arrest (see "The Nightmare Stacks" for why), and a villain from a prior book has resurfaced and is suborning the British government in a very bad way. An intrepid group of agents remains and has gone dark to try to carry on the fight. What to do?
The book is tightly written and the plot twists are nonstop. Some of the prior books in the series have been criticized for slower, more introspective parts disrupting the action, but that is not the case here. It's very difficult to put this book down. Another strong point: Bob Howard is back as the narrator. Most of the book is written from his point of view, and we get to see just what he is capable of now that he's free of Angleton's restraint. (It's never been explicitly stated that Angleton had Bob under a geas after the events of "The Fuller Memorandum," but I rather think that had to be the case.) We also get to see more of the Senior Auditor, Dr. Armstrong, aka King of the Badass Bureaucrats.
My one criticism: two characters who reappear in the series do so with significant changes which (in my opinion) are inadequately explained. The best way to put it is that we learn through dialogue what has happened, but it's very incomplete. My hope is that this will be covered further in the next book. The hard part is waiting for the next book! Well done, Mr. Stross. This one is a winner.
THE DELIRIUM BRIEF is one of the most action packed, violent, gory and complex novels in the series. The gang's all here, and Bob, Mo, Alex, Casssie, Mhari and Dr. Armstrong all play crucial roles in series of disasters that starts with the defunding and elimination of the Laundry by Parliament, allegedly in response to the other worldly disaster that killed thousands and exposed the computational demonologists and sorcerers of the Laundry in THE NIGHTMARE STACKS. Things go from simply awful to oh god now what as we find that one of the ancient gods of another universe, The Sleeper in the Pyramid, has been awakened and is behind the destruction of the Laundy as a prelude to a full scale takeover of the planet.
The viewpoint and narrator skips around a lot as Bob and Johnny, Alex, Cassie and Mo, and Dr. Armstrong are for the most part working as separate teams trying to control the Sleeper incarnated as the Reverend Schiller from converting everyone in a decidedly non-peaceful way to true believers. The ending is a full out convergent battle royale between the good guys and various and sundry alien mind controlling parasites and extra-dimensional horrors. This is one of the most action packed, graphic, gory and exciting entries in the series. Stross's patented brand of humor is also well in evidence. I found THE DELIRIUM BRIEF to be unputdownable. CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (the end of everything) is getting closer, much closer, and there are permanent changes wrought in this entry, but with a little luck we will get at least a couple more novels before the grand finale.
Very Highly Recommended (but don't start here).