Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Annihilation Score, by Charles Stross

The first obstacle of this novel is the first chapter: so poorly written, so not edited, so puerile and confusing that anyone who progresses through the second chapter deserves a reward. It is as though there were two authors, and thankfully the first one quit early on.

The story got interesting as it progressed in spite of itself. Here's what I mean: the hero is Mo (Dominique), a PhD, a musician, and an agent with a secret security service of the British government called the Laundry. Their mission is to deal with occult threats.  Mo's weapon is a violin made of bone and infused with some sort of creature who works symbiotically with Mo to kill demons.

Okay, let's skip past all that for a moment. Mo's husband is also in the secret service, also deals with supernatural threats, and their combined workload and other aspects of their jobs has put their relationship at a crossroads. Mo is in her 40s and often time feels invisible, especially in the male dominated bureaucracies of British rule.

If we take the supernatural topic out of the mix, this is still an interesting novel. With it, it is interesting primarily to folks who enjoy (or can tolerate) stories in this genre. The book is told by Mo and I'm surprised the author is male.

I'd give this book three stars (out of five) if it weren't for the terrible opening chapter and the continued annoyance of THE USE OF ALL CAPS throughout the text. So net my review down to two stars. Still, I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it.

The Annihilation Score: A Laundry Files Novel


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