The Nightmare Stacks

The Nightmare Stacks

Book - 2016
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"After stumbling upon the algorithm that turned him and his fellow merchant bankers into vampires, Alex Schwartz was drafted by The Laundry, Britain's secret counter-occult agency that's humanity's first line of defense against the forces of darkness. Dependent on his new employers for his continued existence--as Alex has no stomach for predatory bloodsucking--he has little choice but to accept his new role as an operative-in-training. Dispatched to Leeds, Alex's first assignment is to help assess the costs of renovating a 1950s Cold War bunker into The Laundry's new headquarters. Unfortunately, Leeds is Alex's hometown, and the thought of breaking the news to his parents that he's left banking for civil service, while hiding his undead condition, is causing more anxiety than learning how to live as a vampire secret agent preparing to confront multiple apocalypses. Alex's only saving grace is Cassie Brewer, a drama student appearing in the local Goth Festival who is inexplicably attracted to him despite his awkward personality and massive amounts of sunblock. But Cassie has secrets of her own--secrets that make Alex's night life behaviors seem positively normal."--
Publisher: New York : Ace Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780425281192
0425281191
Branch Call Number: SCI-FIC STROSS 2016
Characteristics: 385 pages ; 24 cm

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c
callig
Oct 03, 2017

This is a genuine hoot! A first-rate, dare i say it, page-turner, a class-A yarn.
It's the latest of a series of perhaps 7. Your taste may vary, but this one certainly shows no signs of flagging. If he's turning the crank he's doing so with gusto.
A sure path to publishing success is to tweak a formula genre, and then, simply, follow through with good writing. Some writers can do the former, mash up two conventional tropes, but can't really write that well. David Weber's Safehold series exemplifies this type. He's flat-footed, er, -handed, but most people just want better-tasting cud, so his readers don't stop buying, thousands of pages of it.
Stross is better than that. A flair for language seems commoner, and even sharper, among brits than americans too. Neal Asher, my last science-fiction adrenaline rush since Stross, is english too.
H.P. Lovecraft with a sense of humour!

i
Ichijo
Feb 12, 2017

Easily the best Laundry Files book in a long while. I was not impressed by either The Annihilation Score or The Rhesus Chart, but this one managed to mesh together the weird and funny that were hallmarks of the earlier books, while still keeping to the darker themes that have been cropping up.

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