?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Elf Sternberg's Pendorwright Projects Previous Previous Next Next
The Annhilation Score, by Charles Stross - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
The Annhilation Score, by Charles Stross
The Annihilation Score is a solid addition to the Laundry series, and it's nice to get away from Bob and look at how someone else handles the business. In this case, we get Bob's wife, Mo. In the Laundry series, magic is real and accrues around worlds dense with minds capable of symbolic thought. The book follows her as she attempts to handle an outbreak of Superheroes; as our world become more and more imbued with thaumaturgic powers, people will interpret their acquisition of those powers in culturally familiar ways, and in our current culture that way is: superheroes! Mutant powers! From there, one of Stross's well-thought mysteries unravels until the final reveal. Stross has commentary to make along the way, about superheroes, about bureaucracy, about policing and its traditions, that are trenchant and obvious all at the same time.

The book has some-- not loose ends, but simply frayed ends. It feels like there were a lot of ideas of of which the a freighted train of plot caroms off as it hurtles down to an ending that the reader could see coming from a million miles away, but is very much in keeping with Mo's character and, sadly, sets her up for a tragic fall in one of the coming books. Her enthusiasm for some of the good things in life can blind her to unfolding disaster even as we see it. Part of me wants to insist that the story has an idiot plot, that if we can see the setup as its building, surely she can as well.

Still, we get a lot of fun for the ride. Mo is forced to work with two of Bob's ex's; she and Bob deal with a lot of angst and anguish now that Bob has become the host for (or perhaps simply has become) an ancient but unspeakable ally of humanity known as The Eater of Souls. One's a mermaid, the other's a vampire. We get an honest-to-God, very British version of Superman. And we get a deep lesson in what beat police work is really about, and how it can systemically fail at the extremes. (Contrasting the notion that Stross illustrates one extreme, the USA the other, is left as an exercise to the reader.)

Tags: ,
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

Leave a comment