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The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files #4)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  6,720 Ratings  ·  406 Reviews
Bob Howard may be humanity's last hope.
Start praying...
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 super-secret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to "External Assets," Bob discovers the company--u
ebook, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2012 by Ace Books (first published 2012)
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Aug 21, 2015 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of humorous UF, Scalzi, Bond
Review and links are permanently at:

I’m thinking 2013 was a weak year for the Locus Awards. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed he Apocalypse Codex, and there was a lot there that made me smile and snicker. But it didn’t contain the ideas that challenge, or writing that mesmerizes, or even characters that intrigue. It mostly just seems a high-level spoof, full of witticisms and social commentary, oft applied with heavy instrument.

I mean, yes, a phrase like: “Fu
Sep 14, 2013 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Sep 08, 2014 Otherwyrld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 11, 2012 Tjic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2012 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
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
Jul 12, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2012 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 25, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Good paranormal horror thriller in which Bob, our computational demonologist, heads to America to check out an evangelist who's taken an interest in the British Prime Minister.
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
**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
Robin Edman
Jul 19, 2012 Robin Edman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 22, 2012 Jonathan Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Nov 01, 2012 Alan rated it liked it  ·  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
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars.

Charles Stross continues to entertain with The Apocalypse Codex, the fourth novel in his LAUNDRY FILES series. I suppose you could read this without reading the first three books, but it’d be better to start with book one, The Atrocity Archives. For this review, I’ll assume you’re familiar with the story so far.

Bob has been unintentionally working his way up in the Laundry, the secret British agency where computer scientists, mathematicians, and physicists have, by accident, become sor
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
Jun 13, 2016 Fredösphere rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Stross has thought about how the modern world would respond to magic and his answer is convincing: governments would treat it like any other kind of power and move to enfold it in smothering layers of bureaucracy. This makes for jarring, funny, and ultimately very believable world building.

I picked this book because my local library happened to have the audio version and I wanted something entertaining for the car. It was confusing, but I'm not sure if it's because I haven't read the ear
Jul 24, 2014 Tripp rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I have a "guilty pleasure" series, it's definitely The Laundry files, which thread the needle between BBC The Office workplace comedy and Lovecraftian horror without descending into the bacon narwhal Reddit pastiche you might fear. The main character is a "computational demonologist" who works for a sub-black ops British government organization; he may be a nerd, but he's not a schlub, and he has a knack for doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

If you are looking for a slightly-occult,
C.T. Phipps
Sep 03, 2016 C.T. Phipps rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jul 04, 2012 Michael Burnam-Fink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2012
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
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
Jeffrey Grant
Aug 30, 2012 Jeffrey Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 21, 2012 Odo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(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
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
Ramón Nogueras Pérez
Nov 27, 2012 Ramón Nogueras Pérez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Aug 14, 2012 Jacqie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ade Couper
Aug 24, 2012 Ade Couper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 11, 2012 Burgoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012, sf
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Number update 2 20 Aug 15, 2012 10:02AM  
Apocalypse Whenever: Apocalypse Codex (Charlie's Diary) 1 31 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.

More about Charles Stross...

Other Books in the Series

Laundry Files (8 books)
  • The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)
  • The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files, #2)
  • The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3)
  • The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5)
  • The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7)
  • The Delirium Brief

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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.”
“There are two types of people in this world,” Pete volunteers helpfully, “those who think there are only two types of people in the world, and everybody else.” 1 likes
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