Tag Archives: The Laundry Files

Weekly Wrap-Up – 10th April 2016

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This is where I join in the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where bloggers can share what they’re reading and what they’re writing about.

For the second week in a row I completed reading five books, and will be reviewing all of them, although I haven’t yet written them all, as my grannying duties this week have got in the way of my blogging. Again, a couple of these books I completed while reading them to the grandchildren. I have already posted a couple reviews as they were published this week, but the others are still waiting to see the light of day.

 

Desolation – Book 2 of The Demon Road trilogy by Derek LandyDesolation
This children’s horror is all about a couple on the run from a demon. I’m impressed at how well written and entertaining it is, with plenty of action and plot twists – and how it all kicks off when they end up in a town called Desolation… This review was posted on Thursday.

 

burnedBurned – Book 7 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka
This is the latest instalment in the adventures of the divination mage Alex Verus. A foot-to-the-floor, adrenaline-fuelled novel with a shocking conclusion. As this book was published on Thursday, I posted my review on Saturday.

 

The Witches Revenge – Book 2 of Beaver Towers by Nigel Hintonwitchesrevenge
The Easter holidays has given me the opportunity to continue reading this enjoyable children’s fantasy adventure to my grandson. This book is far scarier than the first in the series and enthralled us both, so I read far later into the night than I’d intended. The review will appear in due course.

 

therhesuschartThe Rhesus Chart – Book 5 of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross
Arcane British agent, Bob Howard, is confronted once more with beings with paranormal powers, meaning that the Government agency The Laundry has to swing into action. This supernatural whodunit is distinguished by the sharp, snarky first person commentary by Bob.

 

Space Hostages – Book 2 of the Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougallspacehostages
This hugely enjoyable science fiction adventure is for children, apparently, but we were all giggling in some places and enthralled in others. I will be posting the review of this in due course.

 

My posts last week were:-
Weekly Wrap-Up – 3rd April
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuirre
Teaser Tuesday – Desolation – Book 2 of The Demon Road by Derek Landy
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of The Last Gasp by Trevor Hoyle
* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Desolation – Book 2 of The Demon Road by Derek Landy
Friday Faceoff – UK vs US books covers of Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
* NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Burned – Book 7 of the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka

It’s been a busy week with grannying, so the blog and writing have taken a back seat, somewhat. My most popular post was last Sunday’s Weekly Wrap Up, closely followed by my Tuesday Teaser.

I’d like to thank everyone who swung by, particularly those of you who went to the trouble of leaving a comment. Take care and have a great week, now that the trees are finally starting to burst into leaf – yay!

Review of The Apocalypse Codex – Book 4 of The Laundry Files by Charles Stross

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If you’ve spent any time rootling through these posts, you’ll know I’m a solid Charles Stross fan – last year I reviewed Glasshouse and his wonderful alternate historical science fiction book The Family Trade was one of my Outstanding Reads of 2011. I also reviewed The Fuller Memorandum, Book 3 of The Laundry Files – so was delighted when I came across the next slice of Bob’s adventures…

apocalypse codexFor outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on a career fast-track within the Laundry, the branch of the Secret Service that fights otherworldly threats. But when he is called to investigate a miracle-working American televangelist who seems suspiciously interested in the Prime Minister, Bob finds an occult mess that even the Laundry may be unable to clean up.

That’s the blurb. For those of you who have not yet encountered the doings of Bob and the Laundry, my firm advice is not to start with The Apocalypse Codex – instead track down the first book in the series, The Atrocity Archives. Stross hasn’t written the books such that you would be completely adrift if you did start with The Apocalypse Codex, but this is such a solidly good reading experience it seems a real pity to compromise it by plunging in at the wrong point.

Bob is wholly believable as a slightly cynical, often bored administrator. His first person narrative is a joy, with the shafts of humour throughout. However, Bob’s career is progressing – and this time around, instead of being paired with his wife, Bob is sent on a fact-finding mission with two operatives to oversee, the gloriously named Persephone Hazard and Johnny McTavish.

This does mean that the book isn’t fully in first person narrative – there were times when we needed to know what Persephone and Johnny were up to, and the viewpoint lapses into third person, sometimes Persephone and sometimes Johnny. Stross, being Stross, makes this work – but I did at times miss Bob’s biting humour during some of these passages. I liked the fact that there is a definite story arc, so that there is a sense this series is moving towards a climax. The darker, Lovecraftian feel that helps make this series distinctive became a lot more to the fore in this book, where we are all headed hellwards towards a nasty end wherein a lot of tentacles and swivelling eye stalks will be involved…

Stross knows how to reel in his readers and keep them engrossed until the end – I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and although there is an occasional unevenness in the narrative that means this isn’t his best work – this talented author is always worth reading.
8/10