Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Apocalypse Codex

Yesterday I started reading the latest Charles Stross, and only stopped at midnight, when I was so exhausted that my chin felt inexplicably wrong, before falling into a dreamless sleep that went an hour and change past my alarm.

Befuddled and bedraggled, I ran for four miles, got home and as soon as I had stopped sweating, picked up the book and carried on reading until I was done.

I was planning on going to the office today and putting down another few thousand words of my Hong Kong horror novel, but after that I felt incapable of anything; I'm not sure if that was intimidation or exhaustion.

The Apocalypse Codex is probably not as much fun as the first three books in the Laundry series. Despite being a Lovecraftian retooling of Modesty Blaise this time round, it's much, much darker. At the same time, it's a more mature work than the previous books; there's less self-conscious references to technology and geeks than before, and the stakes are elevated. (Which isn't a pun, although there are some stakes, just as there were in The Fuller Memorandum.)

One thing I didn't like was some of the repetition of the events of the earlier books; there wasn't much of this, and it fades after the first few chapters, but it felt like it was there for somebody unfamiliar with the previous books. That, or I'm cursed with an over-efficient memory.

It still surprised me several times (not least with the final twists) and the action scenes are much better written than even a couple of books ago. I'm just perturbed about how much darker it will get, but then it is the end of the world...


Post a Comment