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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
V for Vendetta
David Lloyd, Alan Moore
Progress: 82/296 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 204/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 256/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
The Apocalypse Codex - Charles Stross

Another of Stross's maths = magic and Cthulhu is just waiting to eat your soul for a light snack before dinner novels in which an out-of-his-depth secret agent tries to save us all from the horrors on the other side of reality. Except that this is book four an playing the whole plucky reluctant hero who normally hides in the office card once again wouldn't really work. So instead Stross and our protagonist admit to reasonable competence as a bunch of cultists attempt to summon Christ to Earth but don't know what they will really let loose isn't really into peace and love...can they be stopped?

This book is as good as any other in the series but Stross spends much of it setting the groundwork for a bit of a shake-up in the inevitable prospective next volume. This means one of those developments that increase the powers of the protagonist. This is similar to the arc that the protagonist of the Night Watch goes through and happens quite a bit in various types of fantasy. The potential problem is that if you do that you must also make the antagonists more powerful in order to maintain the threat level and this can lead to what I call threat-inflation which, at it's most extreme and ridiculous leads to the sort of nonsense found in the Lensman books. Hopefully this series, which is a heap of fun, won't descend into that brand of unintentional silliness (which gets plain dull after a while). Creativity can postpone this problem but ultimately, the solution is to end the series before it's too late. In this case it's not - yet.