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The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
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The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files #4)

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  3,882 ratings  ·  314 reviews
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...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Ace (first published 2012)
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Robert
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 bu...more
Otherwyrld
I picked this one up at random from the library because I have only read one of this author's book previously and was interested in trying more. I'm glad I did, because it was a really good book.

Everyman Bob Howard works for the Laundry, the part of the British Secret Service that deals with occult threats to the nation. Sent on a mission to investigate an American church that is taking far too much interest in certain British ministers, he soon finds himself in way over his head. Aided and abe...more
Matt
Stross continues to churn out nerd flavored popcorn, but its beginning to taste a bit stale. When a work becomes this long, it either has to grow or become stagnant. So far the work isn’t maturing.

On the good side, Stross does for the most part manage to actually give this story an exciting and not anticlimactic ending. And Stross’s RPG sensibilities, and the intersection of information technology, secret services, with Cthulhu Mythos continues to charm on a basic level. I just wish the stories...more
Andrew
Bob Howard goes forth.

This series has turned a corner and become more serious, with this volume. Or the author has decided to take it more seriously. I don't mean it's stopped being funny; it's still Bob's irate-nerd edge-of-over-clever voice narrating, and that still turns the pages nicely. Nor do I refer to the escalation of the story arc, which is indeed escalating (The Stars Are Right, more or less now, as of this volume).

No, I mean that the early volumes were *gonzo* horror, starting with N...more
Will
Poor Bob. He just keeps getting in the shit.

This book's a little rushed, and there are some segments which it would have been impossible for Bob to know about from his perspective. The new characters are flat (Persephone Hazard isn't so much Tara Chase as Catwoman) and the introduction ("Sketchy Preacher comes to Downing Street") turns out to have very little to do with the main plot. And Moe barely gets an appearance, which is a pity.

Which is the major failing of this book; there's no Laundry....more
John Carter McKnight
Another good Laundry novel, better in some ways than its predecessor, in others a bit flatter. The core drawback is, to write good satire or good horror, you have to write from inside the system. Stross was spot-on with bureaucratic IT departments and the Lovecraft and Bond mythos. Here he takes on American evangelism, and it falls a bit flat: Stross' knowledge isn't nearly as immediate, and at core, he clearly lacks the visceral reaction that makes for first rate comedy or horror: the British-a...more
Tjic
Charlie Stross was one of my favorite science fiction authors a while back - Iron Sunrise, the first few books in the Laundry Files universe, and more.

I'm not sure if his style is changing or if my preferences are, but recently I've been less and less able to tolerate his writing. It strikes me as smug, self-righteous, and very VERY pleased with itself. The less clever he's actually being, the more self-regard his fiction seems to exude.

I'd pre-ordered this book months ago, and it arrived yester...more
Carly
**edited 01/08/14

After his last job as the tethered goat for a bunch of insane apocalypse-desiring cultists, Bob Howard, computational demonologist, is hoping for a little rest and relaxation so that he can try to shake his recent partial transformation into a demonic Eater of Souls. When he finally returns to work at The Laundry, the top-secret ministry of magic, he thinks his wish has been granted--after all, how hard can his new leadership and resource management position be?

Soon, he is embro...more
Robin Edman
This is a series book, and it really does call for knowledge of the predecessor books to make sense. On the other hand, the last of the predecessor books had such an epic climax that it seemed time to retire poor old Bob, because he can't be the loveable dork that carried all these stories having survived something so huge. So this new story felt a little weird because Bob was trying to dork around but the reader knows the whole time that he has some major mojo going on. To that extent, knowledg...more
Jonathan Cate
The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross is the fourth installment in The Laundry series. Our intrepid hacker turned bureaucrat fighter of evil, Bob, is back in action after his latest scrape with death. Along with Bob, we are introduced to several new characters including a new boss and a couple of very interesting and powerful outside operators, Johnny and the Duchess.

Most of the action takes place in America this time where Bob must thwart the efforts by a deranged fundamentalist preacher from...more
Alan
Nov 01, 2012 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True believers in false gods
Recommended to Alan by: Previous wet work
Oh, sure, I make a lot of noise about not liking series, and then as soon as I see the next book in Charlie Stross' Laundry Files, here I am doing the happy dance as I pick it off the shelf. But... Stross is a very different writer, and this is a very different sort of series.

Bob Howard works for the Laundry—the very secret British secret service dedicated to protecting the realm against threats that are more alien than mere foreign agents, using techniques more arcane than playing baccarat or d...more
Brad
And whatever god you choose to believe in have mercy on your soul, indeed! I've been loving these books from the start, and while it took me a little time to get into yet another spy-fiction style, since mr. Stross has consciously been imitating the greats up till now, I did indeed get into it. In a few ways its even greater than some of the previous Laundry files. Of course, it can't be called the Laundry files anymore. Hehehe
Fascinating character developments for Howard. I think I like the new...more
Tripp
Oh too bad. This series is starting to lose air. The writing is getting flabby and self-indulgent. If I had not already invested in the other books and wanted of course to get to CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, then I would have given up. The story, once Stross gets around to it, is enjoyable. The satire of megachurches is done well enough, if it is a bit tired.

Complaints about the anti-religous nature go a bit far. It is certainly not friendly to religion, but it is also not gratuitous. The US takes a fe...more
Michael Burnam-fink
On the good side, more Laundry Files! On the downside, more Laundry Files. Bob Howard is back, and this time he's facing off against American Evangelists/Cthulhu Cultists who have very serious plans towards the End Times. But unlike the previous Laundry books, which took used Stross's deep knowledge of various arcana (bureaucratic IT, 20th century occultism, James Bond movies) to add depth to the high concept premise of the series, The Apocalypse Codex is just kinda... generic. It's not at all b...more
Nicholas
Another solid Laundry Files novel. Stross shows no signs of slowing down w/ his IT / Administrative Bureaucracy / Espionage / Horror novels. Bob Howard continues to grow and evolve as a character. This really makes me happy, because as a computer geek, public servant, IT stereotype, it would be really easy to play his character for yucks. Stross, instead, show personal and professional growth with each new edition.

The Evangelical cult as a villain was played with an admirably dexterous hand. It...more
Jeffrey Grant
I like Stross' Laundry universe, but I'm not sure I really like the Bob. Or rather, I don't like what Stross keeps doing to him; he gets thrown into situations with insufficient or misleading knowledge, everything goes "tits up" as the author and main character might say, and then he pulls himself out of it to the amazement of the organization with Anderson in the back going "I told you so".
It's still entertaining and the banter of the characters is great, but the formulaic approach is starting...more
Rob Wickings
Charlie Stross' Laundry books can be something of a curate's egg. If you're a fan of the Len Deighton/John Le Carre school of espionage thrillers, mixed up with a heavy dose of Lovecraftian horrors scratching at the veil between the worlds and hard-core SF geekery, then you're in for a treat. If not, you'll find the books bewildering if not outright irritating.

The basic conceit goes like this: Bob Howard works for a government department tasked with defence of the realm against threats from bey...more
Odo
(Originally published on my blog: http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.... )

Some reviews are difficult to write, some are easier. But this is going to be like the easiest one ever. The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross is an awesome book. If you already are a fan of The Laundry Files you won't be disappointed in the least. If you aren't... what are you waiting for? You still have some time until the book is published. Go read The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum...more
Nancy Oakes
"Bob Howard may be humanity's last hope. Start praying..."


Still recovering from the hair-raising events of The Fuller Memorandum, Bob now finds himself on the Fast Stream track for promotion, and his superiors have decided that he needs to attend some Professional Development training with regular civil servants who don't work for the Laundry. Bob of course, doesn't want to go -- he'd rather audit some courses at the Dunwich facility that would improve his prospects for survival for "when the te...more
Ramón Pérez
Estoy seguro de que Stross no es capaz de hacerlo todo bien, y que hay algo que se le da mal. El tipo es muy listo y, simplemente lo evita.

Este cuarto volumen de la serie de La Lavandería (The Laundry Files) es una más que digna continuación de los anteriores, dejando el listón mucho más que alto. Stross une el terror de H.P. Lovecraft, el humor británico más negro y el género de espionaje mejor conseguido y crea algo que funciona sin fisuras, suspende tu incredulidad y te lleva a lugares horren...more
Ian J
What do you get if you cross middle-management bureaucracy, religious cult-based urban fantasy and science-fiction? Charles Stross’ The Laundry Files series, specifically, The Apocalypse Codex. Take one Bob Howard, Junior Secretary For Eating Of Souls, Fourth Grade (otherwise known as civil servant chinless wonder); add a Johnny and a Persephone, who may or may not be external agents working for the Laundry; mix with an evangelical priest who has popped in to see the PM and who has a bible with...more
Jacqie
It's got to be hard to write a series. One of the things I liked most about Atrocity Archives was that it was a fresh spin on the genre that I couldn't believe that no one had written before. Four books in, I've got a good feel for the world, but the surprise of the first book isn't there.

This time, we end up in Colorado Springs in the evangelical church from Hell- literally. I ended up liking the Duchess and Johnnie, two new characters who give the Laundry plausible deniability about this cland...more
Ade Couper
This is good.

For those of you not familiar with Charles Stross' "Laundry" novels , the laundry in question is the branch of the civil service that deals with eldritch horrors from another dimension....the lead , Bob Fuller , is a civil servant , & , as he reluctantly admits , a secret agent , but the world he works in is much more Len Deighton than Ian Fleming......"Harry Palmer & the Deathly Hallows" perhaps...?

This time Bob is in the field with 2 "contractors" - Persephone hazard (a wh...more
Brian
I'm never really sure how to approach the Laundry novels. I mean, sure, they're Lovecraftian and I tend to devour anything that has the word (or idea, in this case) Cthulhu in it regardless of its quality--I read August Derleth's The Trail of Cthulhu, which involves the US military dealing with Cthulhu by means of nuclear weaponry--but there's nothing that really sticks with me after I'm finished. Maybe the problem is that Charles Stross wrote them as pastiches of spy fiction. This one is appare...more
Burgoo
By now you should know what to expect from a Laundry novel. Bob gets called in to investigate a strange situation, it all goes horribly awry, & he finds himself outnumbered and outgunned. And the fate of the world is on the line.

This time around, Bob goes to America to look into an “Evangelical” minister. One of those guys with a megachurch & whathaveyou. He’s there in a supervisory context, on loan to the Externals department (yeah, Bob hadn’t heard of those guys either). As you can pro...more
Leticia
TL;DR: good book, better if you are not american, know enough urban fantasy and/or write.

When I read a book in a series, it's inevitable that'll mentally compare it to the others. That is not a good habit, since different books are entirely different animals, and a series usually has an overall arch, some sort of looming future. Or, in case of the Laundry Files, a dooming future.

As the Laundry Files series walk to their ending, things start getting pretty grim for Bob Howard. And dark. And on mu...more
Marty Halpern
Caveat: I actually read the original manuscript of The Apocalypse Codex, which won't be published until 2012 (Ace Books). I had the luxury of acquiring and editing the first two Laundry Files books -- The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue -- for Golden Gryphon Press; and I edited the third book, The Fuller Memorandum, for Ace; I'm hoping Ace will get in touch real soon now to ask that I work on this fourth book as well.

The continuing adventures of Bob Howard... The story is told from thr
...more
Mike Martinez
Jul 27, 2012 Mike Martinez rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: geeks, sciency wiency types
This was a really good read. The reviews on Amazon included one that complained about the subject matter -- American evangelicals figure prominently -- and that actually made the decision for me.

The story was complete in itself. It extended the ongoing saga of the Laundry, and it certainly makes me want to read more to find out what happens *next*. This story ended, but the Laundry arc is far from complete. I like that in a series of books.

Being a geek, and one that has worked at VC funded start...more
Sandi
This is one series that keeps getting better and better. You can tell that it's building up to something big, but it just hasn't come yet. My only complaint about the story is that it left me hungry for Bob Howard's next adventure. I want more and there isn't any more yet.

I' also have to comment on Gideon Emery's narration in the series. He is wonderful. Both this book and The Fuller Memorandum had some important American characters. I thought Emery' did a flawless job with the American accents....more
C.T. Phipps
The Apocalypse Codex is the fourth novel in the projected nine-book The Laundry series by Charles Stross. This doesn't include the novels and short-stories which he has been prone to writing and I have enjoyed tremendously. I wasn't too big of a fan of The Jennifer Morgue but I was glad I gave the series a pass on this.

So what is the premise of The Apocalypse Codex?

Bob Howard is recovering from the events of The Fuller Memorandum, having taken a serious hit to his sanity score in the Call of...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: Apocalypse Codex (Charlie's Diary) 1 29 Jul 08, 2012 05:35AM  
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Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.

SF...more
More about Charles Stross...
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“Let’s see.’ She fiddles with her terminal and the room card reader. ‘You’re in 403 and 404. Have a nice day.'
I hand Persephone the Forbidden Room card and keep Room Not Found for myself. She looks at me oddly.”
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