Charles Stross - Shastrix Books

Charles Stross

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The Atrocity Archives

The Atrocity Archives

31st July 2018

This book, the first in the Laundry Files series, has been sitting on my shelf for some time, and I’ve been eyeing the series up in bookshops for even longer. I was attracted by the bright covers, interesting descriptions, and quotes on the covers from authors I like.

The book contains two separate stories - the first of which introduces Bob as he becomes a field agent for the Laundry - a secret part of the British establishment dealing with the occult issues brought to the fore by modern technology. It’s a really interesting idea, and the narratives of both stories really nicely blend the edges of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

I was offput a little at the start of the novel by the introduction describing it as a bit Lovecraftian. I haven’t had the best of experiences with Lovecraft (admittedly my introduction to his works was in an unusual medium). However, clearly the elements of Lovecraft that Stross has chosen to replicate aren’t the ones that I found offputting - and the narrative flows really cleanly around visitations by mysterious beings and their descriptions aren’t inconsiderately lacking in detail.

I wasn’t gripped as much as I had hoped to be, but I enjoyed it sufficiently that I’ll be looking out for the second book in the near future.

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