The Apocalypse Codex

( 14 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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 Ministries 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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The fourth novel (after 2010’s The Fuller Memorandum) in Stross’s series about the Laundry, a British mystical intelligence agency, continues its fun blend of Lovecraftian horror, espionage, and office satire. Everyman geek Bob Howard has been promoted to the Laundry’s Externalities department, an obscure branch dealing with outside contractors. His boss, Lockhart, assigns him to manage Persephone Hazard and Johnny McTavish, two mystically talented field agents investigating suddenly powerful U.S. evangelist Ray Schiller. Complications arise ranging from conflicts with U.S. spy agencies, extradimensional parasites, a Bible with some disturbing additional chapters, and the requisite zombies. Stross augments his style, expanding the narrative voice beyond Bob’s own while remaining true to earlier works in the series. Some fans might miss Bob’s wife, Mo (largely offscreen after the book’s first third), but the new characters and setting allow Stross additional opportunities for political and technological snark in the midst of this solid spy/horror story. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Assoc. (July)
San Francisco Chronicle
"Stross gives his readers a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense and an aversion to martinis."
Alternative Worlds
"Bond and Bourne never faced the adversaries Howard confronts."
Kirkus Reviews
Fourth in the series (The Fuller Memorandum, 2010, etc.) about the Laundry: a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror. In the universe Stross has conjured up, supernatural nasties are real, so naturally the British government has a department to deal with them. (The U.S. equivalent is known as the Nazgûl.) The Laundry, a department so secret that anybody that stumbles upon its existence is either compulsorily inducted or quietly eliminated, seems quintessentially British: the executive offices, known as Mahogany Row, remain eerily empty; forms must be signed in blood; and there are grandiloquent code names for everything. Applied computational demonologist Bob Howard has been fast-tracked into management, having survived a series of dangerous and unpleasant encounters. His boss, James Angleton, an Eater of Souls (Don't ask. Really.), worries about CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, but there's a more immediate problem: Raymond Schiller, a supernaturally charismatic American televangelist, has grown uncomfortably chummy with the Prime Minister, but by convention and statute the Laundry may not investigate the office they answer to. So Bob finds himself working with "Externalities" in the shape of Persephone Hazard, an extremely powerful witch, and her sidekick Johnny McTavish, who has particular experience with creepy religious cults. Equipped with an unlimited credit card and a camera that doubles as a basilisk gun, Bob jets off to Denver to investigate and runs into an organization run by parasitic brain-sucking isopods--which turns out to be the least of his worries. Stross' irreverent, provocative, often unsettling and undeniably effective brew seethes with allusions to other works of literature, film, music and what-all--it's integral to the fun. Readers familiar with Stross' dazzling science fiction should relish this change of pace and direction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425256435
  • Publisher: Ace
  • Publication date: 6/25/2013
  • Series: A Laundry Files Novel Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 366,066
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Stross, born in 1964, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for best novella (“The Concrete Jungle”), Stross has had his work translated into more than twelve languages. He has worked as a pharmacist, software developer, and tech-industry journalist.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Best Laundry book yet.

    While the plot of The Apocalypse Codex may be a bit more straightforward than others in the seres, it offers new insights into the nameless horrors lurking at the edges of the universe, as well as an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of the Laundry's heirarchy and it's American counterpoint The Operational Phenomenology Agency (aka The Black Chamber).
    Easily my favorite of the Laundry books so far.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Scott's Too Short To Be Useful Reviews

    This series can only end in tears. And much screaming.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Loved it.

    Don't let this be the first in the series you read. OTOH this is a great book and you DO want to read it. And we will see more of Bob after this. I eagerly await the next Stross masterpiece.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2013

    Great ongoing character development

    Bob's ongoing character development continues to delight.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted July 15, 2012

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    Posted July 11, 2013

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