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Publisher's Summary

Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross presents the next case in The Laundry Files. Dominique O'Brien - her friends call her Mo - lives a curious double life with her husband, Bob Howard. To the average civilian, they're boring middle-aged civil servants. But within the labyrinthian secret circles of Her Majesty's government, they're operatives working for the nation's occult security service known as the Laundry, charged with defending Britain against dark supernatural forces threatening humanity.
Mo's latest assignment is assisting the police in containing an unusual outbreak: ordinary citizens suddenly imbued with extraordinary abilities of the superpowered kind. Unfortunately these people prefer playing superpranks instead of superheroics. The mayor of London being levitated by a dumpy man in Trafalgar Square would normally be a source of shared amusement for Mo and Bob, but they're currently separated because something's come between them - something evil. An antique violin, an Erich Zann original, made of human white bone, was designed to produce music capable of slaughtering demons. Mo is the custodian of this unholy instrument. It invades her dreams and yearns for the blood of her colleagues - and her husband. And despite Mo's proficiency as a world-class violinist, it cannot be controlled....
©2015 Charles Stross (P)2015 Recorded Books
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Critic Reviews

"A weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror." ( Kirkus Reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By A Tye on 11-08-15

A disappointing addition to a great series.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not recommend this book to a friend. While a tolerably book in its own right, it is a disappointment when put into the context of the series. It lack the joy and irreverence of the earlier books despite the absurdist plot elements. Beyond that Mo, who had been a likable if not particularly well developed character, takes center stage and becomes both significantly less likeable and less interesting. There are also some of the cringe worth moments due to the author writing from the point of view of a woman and not quite getting it right. I would recommend reading the series but skipping this book.

If you’ve listened to books by Charles Stross before, how does this one compare?

Definitely my least favorite of this series.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Larry on 02-01-16

Adequate but disappointing

Adequate but disappointing. I love the Laundry series and have been anxiously waiting to get my eldritch fix for what seems like forever, but Annihilation Score didn't quite satisfy. The main reason for this is, as the other reviews here point out, is Mo, the protagonist in this story is very unlikable, especially if you are a fan of the series (and, thereby, a fan of Bob).

To be fair to the author, he has been consistent throughout the series in his portrayal of Mo and she has always been self-centered but it was never so obvious because Bob is a nice guy and doesn't dwell on it. But with Mo being the central character, it is really hard (impossible) to cheer her on to victory.

The only redeeming quality to this book, imo, is Mr Stross' continuing stellar (and humorous) job at portraying a Dilbert-esque nightmare bureaucracy in action. Masterful and the only reason I give this one any stars at all.

Having said all of the above, unfortunately, if you are a Laundry fan, you can't skip this book cuz it does advance the overall story arc dramatically. Hopefully the next one will return to Bob's viewpoint and we can see him mature as he manages to get a handle on his new "stuff"...

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Carole on 10-28-15

Not what I expect from Stross

Sadly Stross's female protagonist is less believable than her male counterpart has been in previous Laundry books. There are fewer signature-Stross devices in it although there's a nice little twist towards the end. Even given the background and history of previous books the story itself feels less grounded, so here's hoping the next Laundry book pulls back into Stross's normal great form.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By J. Underwood on 04-05-17

lost in management buzzword bingo hell

This is nowhere near as good as the other laundry books. Strong female characters - always a fan of that, superheroes - always popular, the minutae of setting up a new government organisation...not so much. If you're interested in a drinking game where you take a shot for every overly complicated management phrase that means nothing in real life..then this is the book for you..and prepare yourself for alcohol poisoning!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By David on 09-28-15

An excellent story made better by outstanding narration

A long time fan of Stross, I find it hard to objectively comment on his work; personally I think he can do very little wrong. Instead, I will simply say that this is, without doubt, one of the best voice-acted audio books I've had the pleasure of enjoying.

Elle Newlands is simply brilliant, and even if you weren't a devoted acolyte of the Temple of Strossian Pleasures, I defy you to not find her performance thoroughly engaging.

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