Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: The Atrocity Archives

Review:  #695
Title:  The Atrocity Archives
Series:  Laundry Files - 1st book
Author:  Charles Stross
Read Before:  no
Comments:  The Atrocity Archives is the first in the series and contains two stories, the first titled The Atrocity Archives and the second, shorter story, titled The Concrete Story.  It introduces us to Bob, and into the world of secret government organisations dealing with the supernatural.  It overwhelms you immediately, and continues to do so until the very last page, with complicated terms and concepts that it introduces expecting you to get it immediately.  In this world, the power of IT, mathematics and physics combine together, and at times, you’re not sure how, to create powers that can raise the undead, call forth monsters and even rip a hold into space time.  It has a lot of ideas, interesting ones at that, from parallel worlds to the technology is capable of but it falls flat at the sheer confusingly at how these concepts are presented.  A lot of effort is put into the explanations of how some of what happens works, but it’s filled with jargon that to most readers would not make sense.  It takes a fair amount of time before the plot gets going and we see Bob rise up to become a capable field agent.  Then it suddenly ends and the second story begins which feels jarring.  The slow build up and then a climax that’s over before you know it feels out of place and makes it seem rushed.  The explanations aren’t completely satisfying which makes The Atrocity Archives a tough read at times.
Rating:  6/10

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