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The last Laundry novel was a bit disappointing - eschewing much of the office politics and humor and instead telling a straight-forward story where Bob Howard, IT guy/secret occult agent, has to defeat a church of (surprise!) evil evangelicals, an obvious target. At first, The Rhesus Chart looks like it is going to be the same, as we are quickly introduced to a nest of vampire high frequency traders with an scene-chewing bad guy at the helm.
However, just as a resign myself to the cliche, the plot twists, and thickens, in interesting and unexpected ways. Plot elements that seemed clumsy and obvious turn out to be cleverly re-purposed, and the whole book, while retaining the macabre, becomes a lot more fun. Helping this is a return to the sharp humor and office politics of earlier books, with a mix of LOTS of amusing geek references along with some fairly clever lines.
And, of course, the reader is amazing.
There are only a couple downsides, one of which is that the coming of Case Nightmare Green is again not deferred (clearly many more novels are ahead!), and that the story is a little flabby in the middle, slowing down a bit more than needed before speeding towards its conclusion.
So, if you are reading the Laundry novels, this is a must-buy. If you haven't, you really should (though you could skip the last one). I am really happy the magic is back in this excellent series!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Rhesus Chart to be better than the print version?
Gideon Emery's performance is a major component of the book and it is a bit hard to imagine the book being quite as enjoyable on paper without him.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rhesus Chart?
The book is among the funniest of the Laundry Files series, and very well plotted. For a funny book, however, the ending is surprisingly affecting, deep, and serious. In the best possible way, I mean.
What does Gideon Emery bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Every time Mr. Emery pronounces the name "Angleton" I can't suppress a smile. He is the perfect reader for this series.
Any additional comments?
I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book, but it is probably my favorite so far. The comedy is refined and funny, but the ending kicks like a mule and left me in a kind of stunned silence for a good half hour. The ending was earned with every word on the way out though...and I appreciate a surprise that after a bit of thought doesn't seem like a surprise.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful