What’s it all about?
The Annihilation Score is Book 6 in Charles Stross’ Laundry Files series, so probably not a good place for new readers to start, but very exciting for old hands like me 🙂
This time around the focus is on Mo O’Brien, an agent for the Laundry, which is the secret government agency which deals with occult powers and the threats they present. Mo has a very special set of skills alongside wielding a bloodthirsty possessed violin as her main weapon.
Ordinary people are developing superpowers and the Laundry needs to work with the mainstream police force to contain the potential threat. Of course it’s not as simple as that and there are consequences (with a capital C).
Why did I want to read it?
I have been reading this series since it started and enjoy watching the characters develop and the shift in tone as different threats are dealt with; everything from megalomaniacs wanting to take over the world, Lovecraftian entities from other dimensions, underwater beings and, of course, vampires. Wouldn’t miss new entries in the series for the world.
What did I think about it?
I really enjoyed this entry in the series, with its shift in focus away from Bob, our normal protagonist, to his wife Mo. The story stands or falls on whether you like Mo as a character or not and I do. I particularly liked the fact that a significant number of the leading characters in the story are women, and that they aren’t spending all of their time snarking at each other, but find a way to work together despite tensions in their working and personal relationships.
But the great joy in this series for an old civil servant like me is the accuracy of the bureaucracy that always arises when different bits of the public sector have to work with each other more closely than they would like, and the jockeying for position and advantage that results. Setting aside the whole occult thing (obviously) some of the situations will be recognisable to anyone who has worked in an office environment, especially within government. Gives an added depth to what’s already a good story.
I already have book seven in the stacks, and book eight has been pre-ordered, so more Laundry shenanigans to come.