The Labyrinth Index

Narrated by: Bianca Amato
Series: The Laundry Files, Book 9
Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (453 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The ninth case in Stross' Hugo-winning Laundry Files, described by Kirkus as "[A] weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror".  

The Lovecraftian Singularity has descended on the world, beginning an exciting new story arc in the Laundry Files series!  

The arrival of vast, alien, inhuman intelligences reshaped the landscape for human affairs across the world, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Things have changed in Britain since the dread elder god Nyarlathotep ascended to the rank of prime minister. Mhari Murphy, recently elevated to the House of Lords and head of the Lords Select Committee on Sanguinary Affairs (think vampires), finds herself in direct consultation with the Creeping Chaos, who directs her to lead a team of disgraced Laundry personnel into the dark heart of America. It seems the Creeping Chaos is concerned about foreign relations.  

A thousand-mile-wide storm system has blanketed the Midwest, and the president is nowhere to be found. In fact, for reasons unknown, the people of America are forgetting the executive branch ever existed. The government has been infiltrated by the shadowy Black Chamber, and the Pentagon and NASA have been refocused on the problem of summoning Cthulhu. Somewhere, the Secret Service battles to stay awake, to remind the president who he is, and to stay one step ahead of the vampiric dragnet searching for him.  

©2018 Charles Stross (P)2018 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Hours of self pitying exposition.

Stross manages to take an excellent plot and turn it into a whiny TLDR Facebook post. Main character is unlikeable, unpleasant and selfish. We already have one George R R Martin. Thanks but no thanks. Laundry Files takes the same bad turn as Iron Druid series did a few years ago. More horror less complaining next time please.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good, not Great

I am a big fan of The Laundry files and have listened to all of the preceding novels, some several times. And I needed every bit of that context to keep the story from squirming away from me. On the downside, my familiarity with the previous installments prevented me from enjoying it as much as I would have liked.

First, while Ms. Amato turns in a journeyperson performance as the voice of the story, she's not the voice that I had in my head for Mhary Murphy (and while we're on that subject what the blanking blank happened to her first name here?). Amusingly, at one point she pronounces .357 (as in ammunition) as "three hundred fifty-seven" - ho, ho. Same deal for Interstate 144 (as pronounced, One Four Four). These are production issues, and sadly not the first ones that I've heard in the Laundry series. "Down on the Farm" sounded like it was recorded in the back of a 1962 Vauxhall. My more general problem is Mhary is not a particularly likable character. Her personality doesn't even harmonize with her previous appearances. Mr. Stross has saddled her with a ludicrously trashy mouth, worthy of Scott Glenn's character in Off Limits (a psycho Colonel in Vietnam). Irritating.

Other issues: Just when Mhary is feeling the need to feed, a Starbucks barista jumps from behind the counter and, displaying all the character development of a Charles Bronson villain, reveals himself as a sexual predator. Looks like blood is back on the menu, boys! That's what's known in the business as lazy writing. I also question the premise of an autistic member of the Alfar in the Laundry Files universe.

Overall, The Labyrinth Index is enjoyable, but burdened by too many characters and narrative jumps between action taking place in the story-line's present and it's past.

6 people found this helpful

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too difficult to follow

An author this popular should be able to afford either multiple narrators or one that knows how to do multiple voices. Shifts of scene and character are impossible to follow. Story might be good but who knows.

this reader should be narrating Mary Poppins or technical specifications. either would be less demanding.

2 people found this helpful

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Great entertainment — funny and thoughtful

I'm glad the reader has a British accent. My only criticism is her limited range of American accents — we've got slightly British southerner, slightly British midwesterner, and slightly British dork. But no matter. Stross keeps getting better with his Laundry series. I think he writes traumatized characters very well — he's sympathetic and humane. Plus, he's a former computer programmer. The best.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good narration

I found it quite enjoyable. The first story from Mhari's perspective. The only minor annoyance was the narrator read the 10^9 sacrifices to wake Cthulhu as "one hundred and nine" and not the "one billion" it deserved.

1 person found this helpful

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Still a better love story than Twilight

This series is a freight train on a downhill slope with no brakes. Mary Murphy is back with her new boy toy, and this time she's taking Manhattan. What about Bob? Alex? Mo? Just have to read to get updates on them.

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An excellent addition to The Laundry series

Another excellent series in The Laundry series. Lead character is well told, story is wild but reasonable. Narrator does an excellent job.

Recommended!

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Mhari Gets Her Own Book

Mhari was always such an interesting character to me and I am glad she got her complete own book. This books brings back many of my favorites but the focus is off our main characters Bob and Mo. Bob is only mentioned briefly. This is a fun and crazy story that mostly takes place in the US. Great continuation of the stories I cannot wait for the next book.

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A new voice has entered the story and it is fresh

The new cast brings a new perspective to the story and it of fun, during and refreshing. In a way it starts an entirely new chapter in the world without negative the story that has come before. A fun read and a promise of much more to come.

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loved it

everything that keeps me coming back to this series. and I'm enjoying the focus being on other characters, though I hope we get another book checking in on Bob, or even better teaming him up with Alex. Moves the metaplot along nicely while also showing us a hilarious perspective on America.