Friday, August 24, 2012

Books I've Read This Week

The Apocalypse Codex is the latest book in the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross. For those of you not familiar with the Laundry Files it focuses on Bob Howard who starts off as a low level sys admin in a British government agency that protects the world from other dimensional horrors. It is a really great mash up of Lovecraftian horror, spy novels and an IT department. In the latest instalment Bob had to work with some outside contractors to stop an American preacher from taking over the world.

For me this novel works on many levels. First is is funny as hell while still keeping that creepy Lovecraft vibe. There is a particularly difficult scene where Bob and his wife have to congratulate friends of theirs who are now expecting their first baby. Since Bob and his wife both work for the Laundry and are aware of the extra dimensional horrors that are constantly trying to get at the human race they've decided not to have kids. This sends reverberations through my own life as I have a number of friends who are married and decided not to have kids because they don't like where the world is headed with global warming, etc.

The novel is also pretty great if you've ever worked for the government or a really big company. The red tape that Bob needs to cut through in order to do his job will be familiar to many folks. The bit where Bob needs to work with external contractors is spot on for any of us who've had to employ contractors.

Go read all the books in the series.
Percy Jackson #3 - The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan is a young adult series I started reading after I had finished Harry Potter as I wanted to explore more in the genre. I finished the second book quite awhile ago and have recently decided to plow through the last three books in the series as I hate not knowing the end of the story.

I like the series because it teaches kids about Greek mythology and quite a bit American geography. So if you have kids in the range of 10-15 who need something to read that is enjoyable but sneaks in some facts as well this series is a good choice.

In this book Artemis has been kidnapped and it is up to Percy and his fellow half-bloods to rescue her and foil the titan Kronos from taking over the world. Mwahahahaha! 

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