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The Labyrinth Index

(Laundry Files #9)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  581 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
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 ( ...more
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by
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Okay. So I admit I've been chomping at the bit to get my hands on this and I seriously couldn't wait.

So I devoured it.

Only to be devoured.

By K Syndrome.

And then I was volunteered for a Mission Impossible with other K Syndromes and other oddities in the United States! And the President... has been erased from everyone's minds. The Gesh! What a Gesh!!! It's almost like he gave us our greatest wish while making it totally evil at the same time. :) And then I remember that old stint on the intern
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apocalypses are easier slept through than experienced.

I finished this on Halloween. As expected/hoped, it was a wild ride with the author pulling out all the stops (that were never there). The reason I post the review only now? Because I needed some time. Time, amongst other things, to digest the events here.

This 9th volume in the series is from Mhairi's point of view (Bob's former girlfriend, I hadn't known that that was how her name was spelled since I only ever read the audio versions). I'm
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.T. Phipps
THE LABYRINTH INDEX is probably the book which is the most like a James Bond pastiche after a long period of the series poo-pooing on the very concept. It stars an arrogant sexist protagonist who fights against a sinsiter cartel with a world-ending scheme that doens't actually make a whole lot of sense. The big difference being that Mhari is a woman sexist against men (referring to her boyfriend and partner as "****boy" for most of the novel) plus she has a team of minor Laundry characters accom ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
**The Labyrinth Index**, the latest entry in *Charlie Stross*' Laundry Files series … escalates. When the last volume of the Laundry Files ended fairly apocalyptic, I was under the impression that Charlie was fed up with reality overtaking his books pre-publication, and escalated to a level reality isn't yet willing to follow.

The Labyrinth Index introduces Mhari as the protagonist and POV character, which I found refreshing and nice. Laundry protagonists are a bit chancy, for me – Mo was part gr
Michael Burnam-Fink
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, sci-fi

Okay, the President has not technically been kidnapped. Rather, the Operational Phenomenology Agency, aka the Black Chamber, aka the Nazgul, has worked a geas across the entire United States to make them forget that the President even exists. Mhari Murphy, Laundry Officer, PHANG, (oh, and Bob's ex from book 1) is the Bad Dude responsible for getting him back, along with a team of high-level Laundry agents doing old-school 'Set Europe Ablaze' style SOE sabotage.

This being The Laundry, nothing is
David Harris
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm grateful to the publisher for an advance copy of this book (thanks Nazia!)

Stross's Laundry Files are now, I think, his most numerous and long lasting series, running to eight or nine novels (with The Labyrinth Index) and several novellas and short stories (depending how you count the stories in The Atrocity Archives, the first book).

While always having at its centre The Laundry itself, the UK's occult service ("occult secret service" would be a tautology, no?) which is lovingly portrayed wit
David Wintheiser
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first Laundry Files book where we see the aftereffect of the Faustian bargain made by the leaders of the Laundry to save themselves from annihilation at the tentacles of the Sleeper in the Pyramid. This book also gives us a longer look than most other books into the workings of the Operational Phenomenology Agency, a.k.a.: the Black Chamber, the lords of which have been consistently referred to in other Laundry works as the Nasgul.

It's a curious and timely book, with a significant focus on t
Nov 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Imagine if a male character refered to his partner as slut or f$%^toy or some other derogitory name all the time. No need for it. Stross's work unfortunetly has gotten worse. Such a shame as it was an awesome series
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A compelling page-turner in the espionage thriller tradition, with added occult menace and more vampires than you can shake a stick at. America's president has been vanished - removed from the memory of every human citizen - and so Madhi, businesswoman, vampire, and occasional secret agent, has been tasked by the dark god posing as Britain's Prime Minister to assemble a team of politically expendable agents to resolve this problem, one way or another. There's a lot going on here - unfortunately ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, that escalated quickly.

With Bob stuck in a box marked "open only in case of apocalypse", the new POV character is Mhari, previously seen contracting a nasty case of vampirism and then parlaying it into a top job. This isn't a side story though: with that apocalypse very clearly looming on the horizon, the many actors - human or otherwise - are jockeying for position, and Mhari is tasked by the New Management of the UK with finding out exactly what the Americans are up to, and let's just sa
David C Ward
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A continuing series where it helps to have read the previous books. Britain and America are both controlled by paranormal aliens - the British variant is less bad - and the American ones are about to reveal themselves, a plot triggered by an amnesiacal spell that makes people forget the President. A fast paced rescue of the president by a British team led by a vampire ensues with occasional stops for lectures about blood science, occult geas, and the flying capabilities of the Concord. Also a lo ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ack! These are so complex now that I almost need to reread the entire series when each new book comes out. Mental note to do that before the next one... This one was mainly from Mhari's POV after the shocking developments of book 8 have had a chance to sink in a little bit.
Agnès Denie
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Okay so I love this entire series for being (a) an accurate description of functioning in a bureaucracy (b) accurate understanding of international relations and (c) amazing characters.

This installment has another thing I love. Fake relationship.

This whole book was all of my catnip.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is still brilliant, terrifyingly smart and utterly unpredictable kaleidoscope of cosmic horror, dangling morsels of denied knowledge and gut clenching despair.

Charlie, you did it again. I am afraid for your sanity. I am anxious for more.
Titus Fortner
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are lots of things to like about this book, but it seemed to meander more than previous installments, with some subplots just kind of fading away. The previous book recaptured the wit of the early installments that this book was missing for me.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: espionage, fantasy, horror
Well, that was worth the wait

I've had this book on pre-order for months, happily so after having read the first eight in the series at least twice each. This one was superb and I can see myself re-reading it starting sometime this week. Edit: or, ok, maybe later November. Review with more Spoilers to follow at a later date also...
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Planet Earth is in deep doo-doo. And I'm not talking about global warming; this is CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, where god-level eldritch horrors from the great beyond have established beachheads on our planet and are preparing to suck our brains dry, slaughter billions, and generally wreak havoc. As you may recall from "The Delirium Brief" -- and STOP RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THAT BOOK -- the Laundry ultimately cedes the government of the UK to an evil supernatural power called the Black Pharaoh i ...more
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This review is based on an ARC given to me for free by the publisher via Netgalley. This does not in any way affect my review. This book is slated for release on October 30, 2018.

The Laundry books started as pastiches of spy thrillers and then went into urban fantasy. In a way The Labyrinth Index has come full circle. It is an out and out spy thriller, albeit one cloaked in the trappings of Stross’s Laundry. Lovecraft-styled fantasy, now rapidly dealing up towards eleven - the series is probably
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review is based on an ARC given to me for free by the publisher via Netgalley. This does not in any way affect my review. This book is slated for release on October 30, 2018.

...there are still aspects of this book that readers will find enjoyable – in particular, the characters. I am glad that the author has started writing about the female characters of his series, and was especially pleased with his portrayal of Mo O’Brien in The Annihilation Score. When I found out that The Labyrinth Ind
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-technology
It was good, about the peak of what I expect from the Laundry series nowadays. It had a feel of "something always happening" that reminded me (pleasantly) of Dan Abnett or an Avengers movie. I really liked the choice of narrating from Mhari's perspective; it felt well-done to me, much more so than Charlie's narration of Mo or Alex. It gave a great sense of fallibility and not seeing the whole big picture, while still being a strong protagonist.

Nitpick, as a long-time resident of the Maryland sid
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a Laundry Files fan, and this is my favorite book in a while -- mostly because it's a bit less depressing. Oh, the world is still basically run by Elder Gods and humanity is hanging on by a thread, but ... somehow, there's a sense of hope.

This book is from Mhari's POV. She's been a bit character and mostly an antagonist for much of the series, but she's like one of those X-Men characters that goes from being a baddy to a good guy. Yes, she's a vampire, but that's not necessarily a bad guy th
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is part of a series. The earlier ones were all narrated by a character Bob Howard who went from a low level civil servant IT support person to a secret agent. The more recent ones are narrated by other characters. This specific book is narrated by Mhari Murphy, a former VP in the financial industry and also a former opponent of said Bob Howard, now an employee at the same agency as Bob. I liked the older books more than the more recent books. This may have to something to do with the f ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not really sure who I was reading, but it certainly wasn't Mhari. And that's a shame because I've always loved this series.

It was more like a female-Bob; every situation was compared to vintage video games or was explained using a geeky reference, and everything was assessed in that context. Thats not the type of inner monologue I ever associated with Mhari who's an ultra corporate power-suit wearing ladder-climbing ambitious woman from the banking industry, given that we've met her before.

Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book 9 and shit is only getting more real. Far too close to comfort when considering actual current events.

The Black Chamber are making their move and starting a long term plan to awaken Ol' Tentacle Face themselves. As part of the plan they've magicked the entire US into forgetting the President exists and intend to harness the belief gap to forward their schemes. Meanwhile, the Black Pharaoh is rather enjoying their reign as PM of the UK (including bringing back the death penalty as you just
Jon Austin
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The plates spin higher and faster...but spin they do

Mr. Stross has a tough row to hoe with this series because the most likely conclusion is the end of all existence. It's like the parable about the king and the peasant and the grain of rice on the chess board: it doesn't take long to scale up to unrelatable issues and characters.

And yet he keeps managing to keep the story line together. With the Laundry Index, the cast of characters keeps growing and with it the bare possibility that somewhere
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Stross really ups the ante on this one: it's both funnier than past books -- Mhari's meaner wit is pretty hilarious -- and also more horrific, which makes sense for a book about Cthulhu. Mhari is super competent, which means that she ends up being a high-functioning operator for Britain's new evil ruler, with disturbing consequences. This book also explains a few things that had been unclear about the goings-on, like who are all these Elder Gods and the relationships between them, which was help ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
F*** me, this is good

Perfect pacing, suspense, a closer look at a group of surprisingly relatable, previously-minor characters... And a few moments that will grip your heart and squeeze.

As always, I recommend reading the entire Laundry Files series, starting with The Atrocity Archive, just so you can get to know all the characters and the history and enjoy the changes in pace, perspective and tone. You won't regret it.
John Kaye
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe three's generous. I have enjoyed the Laundry Files series very much until this one. The originality of the idea and the juxtaposition with the normality of British bureaucracy made for entertaining reads. In this book, the approach was, for me, missing the humour, and most of what I thought of as essential elements of the series were also missing. I'd think hard about reading the next, if there is one.
Frank Burns
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everything Stross gets an automatic 4 stars for me. The creeping dread of the Laundry Files is a much enjoyed setting for me. That being said, this one only gets the base 4 stars. I just get the feeling that when he moves the story to an American setting the books are just a little weaker (the same feeling I got with the Apocalypse Codex). Still, this was a rollicking read and moved the overall story along nicely,.
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Incorrect publication date for one edition 1 20 Mar 28, 2018 01:53PM  
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2,777,749 Votes Cast
Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.


Other books in the series

Laundry Files (9 books)
  • The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)
  • The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files, #2)
  • The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3)
  • The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
  • The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5)
  • The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7)
  • The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8)
“Nor can I tell him—lest the SA’s command override cause my arterial blood vessels to burst and my eyeballs to catch fire—about Long-Term Continuity Operations and the Resistance.” 0 likes
“but on the ridgeline up by Magic Meadows there’s a place where the trees are all flattened outwards in a circle and there’s a scorched symbol in the dirt, kinda like a five-pointed star with an eye in the middle, like the Brotherhood” 0 likes
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