The Annihilation Score

The Annihilation Score takes a bit of a different take from the previous five books, shifting the viewpoint from the previous hero* Bob to his wife Mo.

Previously, Mo had been one of my favorite characters in the series. She’s just mysterious enough that she’s interesting, coming in to save the day with a truly terrifying violin. Unfortunately, the more I know about her, the less I care.

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The Rhesus Chart

Vampires don’t exist.

Or at least that’s what everyone in the Laundry believes. Turns out… there’s a good reason for that.

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The Apocalypse Codex

The first chunk of this book was a little bit weak, in particularly the introduction of the new character Ms. Hazard. She represents a different style to the magic in this universe, which is interesting, but she just seems too good at her job. In the same manner as Superman, the more powerful someone becomes, the harder it is to make them interesting.

That does get better in the later half of the book, especially in the climax. I’m still not sure what to think about the mixed first/third person writing style, but it is interesting to see some of the scenes from two very different points of view. I miss Mo though.

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The Fuller Memorandum

(Take 2, the internet ate my first review)

This is another solid entry in the Laundry Files and perhaps my favorite yet. We’re really starting to get into some of the more horrific corners of the world. In particular, we learn a bit more about Mo’s violin; we get another glimpse into a far flung world (the Sleeper in the Pyramid, guarded by a wall of the dead on spikes; great/terrible visual; especially when one imagines RAF patrols keeping an eye on eit) ; and more about Angleton than I bet Bob ever wanted to know (and I really is explored more in the next books).

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Equoid

Another short story between the second and third Laundry Files novels, this one goes into detail on exactly how weird unicorns can be in a fantasy universe.

Turns out: pretty weird.

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Overtime

Heh. Santa Claus is a nasty beastie.

Overtime is a fun little story about the Horrors of Christmas and builds just a bit more onto the world of the Laundry Files. It’s weird how much authority the night watchman has, but it also makes a certain kind of sense.

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The Jennifer Morgue

This is an excellent follow up to The Atrocity Archives.

On the plus side, Stross managed to tone down the technobabble from ridiculous to only mildly over the top. There’s still more than enough references to enjoy and enough neat world building on the (non Euclidean) edges between technology and demonology, but it’s not quite hitting you over the head like the first one did.

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The Concrete Jungle

The Concrete Jungle
The Concrete Jungle

Charles Stross

I liked this even better than The Atrocity Archives.

The idea of SCORPION STARE (Medusa, weaponized) is neat and there’s some interesting commentary on the potential problems of a surveillance state that fit well with the overall Britishness of the piece.

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The Atrocity Archives

That… was intense.

To really get the most out of this book, I think you’d have to have a certain combination of things in your head: a knowledge of a lot of the more esoteric bits of computer science theory, physics, pop culture, and cosmic horrors. Pretty much right up my alley. Even then, I will admit to having no idea exactly where he was going with a few of those.

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