AMil's Reviews > The Annihilation Score

The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross
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Many readers of the Laundry Files do not like the way the series is heading. I don't mind and personally I enjoyed the last book, The Rhesus Chart. However, The Annihilation Score really annoyed me. But it wasn't the plot or the superhero thing that annoyed me. It was the protagonist, Mo. Specifically her treatment of Bob. I understand that Mo has to deal with a lot of shit and as a result is traumatized both mentally and emotionally. But so has Bob and he was supporting her that whole time. So when Mo says this at the beginning of the book I was blown away:


"My husband is sometimes a bit slow on the uptake; you'd think that after ten years together he'd have realized that our relationship consisted of him, me, and a bone-white violin...But no: the third party in our menage a trois turns out to be a surprise to him after all these years, and he needs more time to think about it."


Bitch, he spent the last decade getting nightmares from your precious violin and being your emotional safety blanket while carrying out his duties as an agent of Laundry, which if you have read the series know was not trauma free. And what makes my blood boil is that it took one glimpse of the eater of souls
in Bob's head to make Mo say wait a minute maybe this won't work out after all. That's all the chance she is going to give to a man who has given her a decade of support.

Not only that but she spends a lot of time being insecure about the possibility of Bob cheating on her and his previous relationships with other women and then she cheats on Bob. Sure, she didn't have sex with Jim but going on romantic dates and kissing in a limo doesn't seem very faithful to me. She would probably flip out if Bob did the same thing, just look at her reaction to Bob letting Mhari stay over at their house, and that was Bob trying to keep
Mhari from being killed.

This book could have been more enjoyable if it weren't for Mo. Her lack of empathy and understanding is astounding.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 5, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Matthew 100% agree


message 2: by Will (last edited Jul 16, 2015 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Will I had to look really hard for anything Mo liked about Bob at all. Her marriage, she likes, but her husband... Not so much. About the only thing she says nice about him is that he's a big teddy bear. Her respect for him and his actual abilities seems marginal.


message 3: by B (new) - rated it 1 star

B Agreed. The recent Mo/Bob arc seems forced and frankly unnecessary. It tries too hard to create conflict.


Dave Goulding I agree with this entirely.


ELLIOTTCABLE Maybe I'm the outlier here, but … I think this is intentional. I think this is Stross being an *excellent* writer, and carrying an entire book with a frankly unlikable main character.

Go back and glance through the old Laundry books. Bob's been … dealing with? … Mo for a *long time*. This is just further developing the character as he's created her.


message 6: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray Duncan Exactly


message 7: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim Hicks Mo was on the edge of a nervous breakdown at the start of the book. Perhaps her point of view is somewhat stressed?


message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason Lindbeck I'd say stressed isn't an excuse for her posturing. The holier than thou attitude in the face of her own glaring weaknesses is a hard crumb to swallow. This book made me go from liking Mo as a character to downright stomach turning disdain by the end of it. I hope she goes on to live a long and happy life, I'd just prefer she did so without shoving her claws into Bob's life anymore.
Honestly? I'd take Mahri as a romantic interest over Mo... at least she has the decency to be up front about her bitchiness.


Becky Reading this made me wonder if the author has issues with women. Mhari and Ramona are both problematic characters but Mo seemed the exception to the pattern of oversexed, emotionally manipulative bitches in Bob's life. But then we find out that she's faithless, cold, and unloving. Bob (and the audience) deserve a woman who is capable of the same kind of loyalty and kindness Bob has shown all along.


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