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The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4) by…
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The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4) (edition 2012)

by Charles Stross

Series: The Laundry (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9704117,902 (3.94)23
"For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast track for promotion to management within the Laundry, the supersecret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to External Assets, Bob discovers the company--unofficially--employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country. So when Ray Schiller--an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill--becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministry and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it's Bob's job to make sure Persephone doesn't cause an international incident. But it's a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about--a global threat even the Laundry may be unable to clean up.."--… (more)
Member:sigje
Title:The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
Authors:Charles Stross
Info:Ace, Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross

  1. 00
    Collected Poems: Nightmare and Visions by Richard L. Tierney (destaphiton)
    destaphiton: The New Testament meets The Dunwich Horror, with some sword-and-sorcery and pulpy sci-fi thrown in.
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» See also 23 mentions

English (39)  French (2)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Moves along, funny, ties up loose ends from other books. ( )
  mgplavin | Oct 3, 2021 |
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.

So far as world building goes, Stross continues to build out the more interesting parts of the world, building towards an eventual apocalypse (or at least rather bad day). The visuals of the Sleeper and the Pyramid are still some of my favorite parts of these books, especially the idea that the wall from the previous books is designed to keep people out, not in. I hadn't gotten that impression before. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Bob Howard, supernatural IT guy slash reluctant field agent, is a fun character to follow. Even still, I’ve been slow to read this series, which is now nine books long. In fact, I read book three in 2011 and originally started the series way back in 2007.

I think it helps to understand that the Laundry Files began as a parody of British spy novels, and then Stross either felt restricted by that premise or grew bored with it, so slowly but surely rejiggered it into something else, eventually turning it into a reliable yearly release.

This book felt a bit transitional, possibly because of that shift. From what I remember of the earlier books, Bob was generally at the forefront of the story, driving events and saving the day. In this volume, Stross introduces a few new viewpoint characters and Bob is in a more reactive role. He’s still the one narrating events or recording them for posterity, but he’s in over his head and oftentimes sidelined during action scenes.

From reading the summaries of the later books, it sounds like Bob isn’t always the primary viewpoint character, which makes sense if Stross wanted to open up the premise a bit. I’m still enjoying the series, but I’ll probably have to read another book or two to get an idea of where he’s taking it. ( )
  unsquare | Feb 16, 2021 |
This, the fourth book about Bob Howard, the computational demonologist, has Howard sent to a management course, and then sent to supervise some consultants. Sounds boring? That was what Howard thought and he was wrong.

The intersection of computer science, making fun of bureaucracy, action, high level conspiracies makes this a book almost targetted directly at me. Now the Lovecraft parts I could do without but this book doesn't have much of that. Instead it has religion. Or whatever it is.

( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Another of Stross's maths = magic and Cthulhu is just waiting to eat your soul for a light snack before dinner novels in which an out-of-his-depth secret agent tries to save us all from the horrors on the other side of reality. Except that this is book four an playing the whole plucky reluctant hero who normally hides in the office card once again wouldn't really work. So instead Stross and our protagonist admit to reasonable competence as a bunch of cultists attempt to summon Christ to Earth but don't know what they will really let loose isn't really into peace and love...can they be stopped?

This book is as good as any other in the series but Stross spends much of it setting the groundwork for a bit of a shake-up in the inevitable prospective next volume. This means one of those developments that increase the powers of the protagonist. This is similar to the arc that the protagonist of the [b:Night Watch|359375|Night Watch (Watch, #1)|Sergei Lukyanenko|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1351342315s/359375.jpg|349497] goes through and happens quite a bit in various types of fantasy. The potential problem is that if you do that you must also make the antagonists more powerful in order to maintain the threat level and this can lead to what I call threat-inflation which, at it's most extreme and ridiculous leads to the sort of nonsense found in the [b:First Lensman|826521|First Lensman|E.E. "Doc" Smith|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1178726959s/826521.jpg|812249] books. Hopefully this series, which is a heap of fun, won't descend into that brand of unintentional silliness (which gets plain dull after a while). Creativity can postpone this problem but ultimately, the solution is to end the series before it's too late. In this case it's not - yet. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionscalculated
del Rosario, KristinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emery, GideonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredrickson, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence

Dr. Laurence J Peter, The Peter Principle
Dedication
For Teresa Nielsen Hayden
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Things are getting better: It's been ten months, and I only wake up screaming about once a week now.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast track for promotion to management within the Laundry, the supersecret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to External Assets, Bob discovers the company--unofficially--employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country. So when Ray Schiller--an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill--becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministry and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it's Bob's job to make sure Persephone doesn't cause an international incident. But it's a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about--a global threat even the Laundry may be unable to clean up.."--

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