jueves, 21 de junio de 2012

The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross

(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)
Review Soundtrack: I suggest that you read this review while listening to Superspy by Save Ferris (Spotify link, Youtube link).

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 and then The Apocalypse Codex. You'll love them all.

That's all folks. My job here is done.

What? What happened? You still here? Wait... You wanna know more?! Ok, ok, but you'd better be cleared for this info or you know what can happen to your immortal soul and all that...

In The Apocalypse Codex our favorite computational demonologist, Bob Howard, has to face a new supernatural threat (and, even more frighteningly, new responsibilities as a junior manager). In this case, a televangelist that is much too eager to prepare the second coming of Jesus but might set into motion forces beyond his reckoning...

In this new instalment of The Laundry Files you will find many of the elements that have made this series one of my favorite ones ever: technomagical artifacts (including hands of glory and the return of the SCORPION STARE from "The Concrete Jungle"), lots of adventures and sharp dialog (it's impossible not to laugh when you find sentences such as “Any sufficiently advanced lingerie is indistinguishable from a lethal weapon.”). And, of course, the occasional lecture on applied computational demonology:
Magic is a branch of applied mathematics: solve theorems, invoke actions, actions occur. Program computers to do ditto, actions occur faster and more reliably. So far so good, this is what I do for a living. But consciousness is also a computational process. Human minds are conscious, there are too damn many of us in too small a volume of space on this planet right now, and we're damaging the computational ultrastructure of reality. Too much of our kind of magic going on makes magic easier to perform—for a while, until space itself rips open and the nightmares come out to play.
I found The Apocalypse Codex a bit closer to urban fantasy than the previous books in the series, and some parts even reminded me of The Magician King by Lev Grossman and Kraken by China Miéville. The plot is tighter, more interesting and easier to follow than some of the other novels of The Laundry Files. And we also have a new character: Persephone Hazard (codename BASHFUL INCENDIARY), an external contractor of The Laundry who is the perfect counterpoint to Bob Howard and a wonderful addition to the series.

All in all, The Apocalypse Codex is possibly the best novel of The Laundry Files (and my favorite book of 2012 so far, together with Existence by David Brin) and that is a lot to say. Buy it. Read it. You don't know when CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN will happen and you'd better be prepared.

(You can also read this review in Spanish/También puedes leer esta reseña en español)

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