I have a tendency to read slow when it comes to books. Mostly this happens because of the manner in which I read. As I plow through the prose, in my imagination I am building the book. I don’t just read the words, I live them. So when I come across a book that evokes within me extremely vivid visions, I actually read even more slowly as I crawl around in the world being constructed in my head.
This is what happened with Charles Stross’ The Atrocity Archives. Imagine a world where all the horrors of Lovecraft exist just outside our reality and letting them in is a simple as figuring out the math and science needed to cross the barrier, which people do, all the time, and the only reason the world continues to exist is due to the efforts of government organizations around the globe who track and deal with these sorts of things. That’s the world that Stross sets his story in, specifically within The Laundry, the Occult branch of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Bob Howard, a computer hacker who works for them.
I’m a sucker for math, especially when its confusing enough to sound real and yet not concrete enough to punch holes in, like that TV show Numb3rs. So when I found that essentially the book takes place in the world where there isn’t really “magic” per say, but instead that what many would see as magic is only advanced math and science and a deeper, less well known, understanding of the universe, I just had to give it a shot. And I loved it.
I look forward to reading the other book in the series, but not until I’ve taken a break for a book or two. If I get bogged down again, I’ll never make my 52 in 52.