Quantum of Nightmares

eBook, 368 pages

English language

Published Jan. 10, 2022 by Tom Doherty Associates.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

It’s a brave new Britain under the New Management. The avuncular Prime Minister is an ancient eldritch god of unimaginable power. Crime is plummeting as almost every offense is punishable by death. And everywhere you look, there are people with strange powers, some of which they can control, and some, not so much.

Hyperorganized and formidable, Eve Starkey defeated her boss, the louche magical adept and billionaire Rupert de Montfort Bigge, in a supernatural duel to the death. Now she’s in charge of the Bigge Corporation—just in time to discover the lethal trap Rupert set for her long ago.

Wendy Deere’s transhuman abilities have gotten her through many a scrape. Now she’s gainfully employed investigating unauthorized supernatural shenanigans. She swore to herself she wouldn’t again get entangled with Eve Starkey’s bohemian brother Imp and his crew of transhuman misfits. Yeah, right.

Mary Macandless has powers of her own. Right now …

1 edition

A whimsical gorefest

3 stars

Stross has commented in the past that the post-Brexit UK’s trajectory has a tendency to make his Laundry Files parallel universe far less outrageously “out there” than he intended. The spin-off New Management series, of which this is the second instalment, has thus dialed things up quite a bit, with the government taken over by a Lovecraftian Elder God who is slowly turning the UK into a hybrid of late capitalist dystopia and a very bloody occult domain.

All this to say: this is not for the faint of heart. As an introduction to the Laundry Files, New Management is not recommended, and this volume isn’t recommended as a starting point for the latter either. The goriness, ever lurking around in the series, attains new heights. At the same time, the characters are engaging as ever, the pacing and storytelling tight, the world-building superb, and there is an unexpected …