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The Apocalypse Codex

(Laundry Files #4)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  10,025 ratings  ·  524 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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 ·  10,025 ratings  ·  524 reviews

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Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this has easily been the best of Stross' books about the Laundy so far.

Bob is slowly recovering from the events of the previous book when Angleton (our favourite intimidating boss) calls him so send him to some executive training at a business school. *shudders* Talk about unspeakable horrors!
He goes, not very enthusiastically of course, and is soon lent to a very secretive part of The Laundry that needs to investigate an American televangelist who has gotten his hooks in the British Prime
Re-Read with buddies! 4/27/18

A more sober read of this novel has made me realize something: I love this shit. Like, hands-down LOVE it. :)

Mahogany Row, the track for upper management, Bob's predilection for honesty and loyalty, even the enormous tongue-in-cheek bashing of American Religious Behavior. It's all fun, funny, and gloriously genre-mashed. I could read this stuff forever.

And the way things are going, I might keep re-reading these books for just that reason. I may never get tired of the
Sep 04, 2014 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
Aug 13, 2013 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
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
3.5 Stars

Awesome science fiction thriller / horror / mystery. I loved the start of this series it is tailor made to my likes. This is my first Stross novel even though he has been on my to read list for a very long time.

Great characters.
Great world.
Great science fiction.
And more.

I really liked it.

The first third of this book was a drag and nothing happened. This was the weakest of the series but the ending somewhat made up for it.
Jul 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it
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
***2018 Summer of Spies***

Anyone who’s been sent on a management training opportunity and gone to it against their better judgement will be able to related to Bob Howard’s predicament in this installment of The Laundry Files. Especially since he’s sent on a mission to America to accompany two “external assets” who don’t really want his “management.”

It turns out that’s not really why Bob was sent along—his previous experience and partial transformation into an Eater of Souls turns out to be just
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Wing Kee
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Praise the Lord for he has awaken!

World: The world building is fantastic. This is one of the best thing in Stross' books his nonchalance in world building. It's a conversation and a remark and not info dumping which I like. The tone of the world is set beautifully by Howard and his point of view, it's great. The pieces of the world we see this time around is fun, it's very contained but a trip to the USA is always fun. That being said there is not enough Americana in it to really set it apart fr
C.T. Phipps
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2012 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
I am happy to report that the fourth installment in The Laundry series is top notch. Another smart, funny adventure with our reluctant spy/computer programmer Bob. This story sees The Laundry investigating an American evangelist with this sights on The Second Coming.

World Terror Tour Reading Challenge: UK
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
John Carter McKnight
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sync
Yet another book of laundry series series where Bob finds himself in the middle of some major disaster without having all the info. And actually that' what i like about this series. It's good to see that even when all goes to hell Bob keeps an open mind and mostly positive attitude. He is indeed very lucky to get through everything that goes in the book with a, lets say, few scratches.
Somehow this books feels like and and of the Laundry series, but for me it'll be a great disappointment if it i
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Nov 09, 2017 rated it did not like it

Well, at least I enjoyed the first three books. I won't bother writing too much about it. I did not enjoy this book.

From the jumps from one character to another to constant repetitions of past events and some other things (which I'll mark in my private notes so as not to forget the whys), it came close to cause a huge book slump.

I'll remove the rest of the series from my to-read list for now.
William Boyle
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Again, it’s super-secret agent computational demonologist Bob Howard against the unspeakable evil of “Cthulhu,” that has taken over a fundamentalist church, including the “Apocalypse Codex” in their holy book, and communion with mind-controlling parasites;
Their objective? --
To take over the world…
Stross is at the top of his form!
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Bob Howard of The Laundry gets a promotion. He is asked to go to the US to monitor two free agents who are investigating a religious cult leader who has gotten too close to the Prime Minister. Again protecting Her Majesty's Realm from the occult forces. Fun and a good read. James Bond meets Cthulu. ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

The POV changes made the story weaker. Bob isn't an active part until the last 1/3 of the story. Story would have been stronger if this had focused on the side characters. Good setup for next sequence of events.
Kara Babcock
Yes, um, hi, it’s been three years since I last read and reviewed a Laundry Files novel. It has been a long time since I bought a Charles Stross book. Don’t worry; I bought this book and the next one, so while I won’t be reading it right away, three years will not go by. I have a lot of catching up to do!

In The Apocalypse Codex, Bob Howard is back … and has to go to training courses because he is being groomed for middle management. Fortunately for our reader’s brains, we don’t have to sit throu
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(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
Jonathan Cate
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
**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
Kat  Hooper
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird-fiction
Book four of the Laundry files finds us in the confident hands of Charles Stross as he continues the ongoing story of Bob Howard, cog in the machinery of the 'Laundry' the British governments deep, deep, deep spy agency tasked with protecting Her Majesties Government from threats well outside the capabilities of all other agencies. As I read this installment I was drawn to the conclusion that Strosses Laundry books share a certain kinship with Butcher's 'Dresden' books, only if those were writte ...more
Megan Baxter
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have missed a whole lot of books in the middle of this series. I will have to go back at some point and pick them up. I read The Atrocity Archives, enjoyed it, but hadn't gotten around to reading the book after it. Then I went to my city's library booksale in the fall, and The Apocalypse Codex was there on the table for $2 in hardcover, so what's a woman to do? Besides, I figured these were probably okay to read out of order?

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Number update 2 21 Aug 15, 2012 10:02AM  
Apocalypse Whenever: Apocalypse Codex (Charlie's Diary) 1 33 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.


Other books in the series

Laundry Files (9 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 (Laundry Files, #8)
  • The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9)

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