Title: The Jennifer Morgue
Author: Charles Stross
Published: 6 September 2007
The Jennifer Morgue is a sequel to The Atrocity Archives and takes place a couple of years after the events in original. Bob Howard has had a promotion to the lowest grade that carries significant managerial responsibility and in the Laundry it’s not always a good thing to have responsibility.
Bob’s mission is stop a megalomaniacal software billionaire from retrieving the device know as ‘the Jennifer Morgue’ though he thinks he’s just sitting in a on a meeting for Andy.
In my last review I said that Bob Howard was not James Bond, well now he kind of is. TJM is a homage to Ian Fleming (TAA was a homage to Len Deighton). The pace is unrelenting as with all good action adventures. There are Stross spins on Bond Gadgets and Bond Girls with one having a sex/death/demon issue and a link to Bob’s brain.
Stross has a vast (over)active imagination. It can get a little confusing when all his ideas cascade over one and other. Luckily this isn’t frustrating but is challenging especially if you have a habit of skim reading.
Stross has created characters and a twist on the world that I could spend books and books in. Geeks aren’t usually heroes, and don’t usually do heroic things – they aren’t usually that interesting but Stross has made geek great.
It’s a packed read that’s quirky, funny and frightening and sometimes all three at the same time..
As an extra there is a bonus short story included. It’s a tease really as I now want to read another little tale from Bob’s day-to-day life.
In the next one I’d love to see the horrors a bit more horrific just to see how far Bob can cope and I want to know more about the origins of his boss Angleton. And if I’m being picky I’d like to have the pace toned down a little bit to have more time to digest stuff.
Though there might be quite a wait for the next one. Not that I mind I need a bit of time to re-read the first two too see the what bits I missed the first time round .