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The Labyrinth Index

(Laundry Files #9)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,650 ratings  ·  140 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
kartik narayanan
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Labyrinth Index has rekindled my interest in the Laundry Files.

I was getting a bit bored with the series since it seemed to be repeating the same formula over and over again. In fact, I don't even remember a single thing about most of the later books. The two changes that Charles Stross has brought in - focus on a different character and focus on consequences - makes this book a lot more memorable.

Mhari is a great protagonist as her supporting characters. Even thought she is a PHANG, her vu
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is in full effect. The UK is under the New Management, an ancient evil only slightly less horrible than the alternatives and the USA seems to be undergoing a similar change with the President missing.

Mhari Murphy has been tapped by the new resident of 10 Downing St to reform the Special Operations Executive (SOE), an early predecessor organization of the Laundry and assigns her to deal with the American problem. With a collection of political undesirables and skilled expenda
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
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
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
Peter Tillman
After a slow start, and almost-fatal damage to my WSOD —N’yar Lat-Hotep (aka the Black Pharaoh) as PM !— Stross almost pulls this one off with a rousing finish. I never really believed the Concorde rescue-scheme could actually work, though I don’t doubt the precursors Stross researched, and his writing is as good as ever. I just don’t like this series very much. Even less since almost none of the principal characters are human anymore. Well, Mhari Murphy sort-of is, but I don’t much like her, ei ...more
Alex Sarll
Stross has recently been describing the Laundry Files as taking place in an even darker timeline than our own, which puzzles me. I mean, yes, there's an elder god in Downing Street, but at least he's one of the competent ones, not the gaggle of the mindless, gibbering variety with which we seem to be lumbered. And this is a Britain where the stupid and dangerous privatisation of a government agency (to wit, our occult counter-espionage department, the aforementioned Laundry) has just been *stopp ...more
Just when you thought that things can't get any worse in the Laundry universe (Delerium Brief #8 ended with the Laundry dissolved and Fabian Everyman, aka "The Mandate", aka The Black Pharaoh N'yar Llat-hotep becoming Prime Minister of the UK). But in this world, things can ALWAYS get worse as events approach CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (aka the Lovecraft Singularity). and the Black Chamber (the Laundry's opposite number in the US) plots the awakening of Cthulhu, with a first step making the entire US ...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.
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
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just as the series started veering towards “monster of the week” material, the previous book ended on a massive U-turn bang, and now we have a rather fine spy-thriller with occult tradecraft practiced in a universe where the Lovecraftian singularity is on the upswing and a dread elder god is running the UK. The weird thing for me is the extent to which a more or less traditional spy thriller formula slips seamlessly into a Lovecraft-infused universe, and of course, as no doubt many have mentione ...more
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
Julie S
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hey Stross is still kicking butt with these books. Even though good old Bob was nowhere to be found in this book, we have the same kind of adventures of civil servants fighting or perhaps abetting the Elder Gods. Somehow the president is missing and it's up to Mhari to save the day. You probably could start with the series by reading this book but I'd recommend starting at the beginning.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
One thing I have to complain about for the Laundry Files - the names aren't very indicative of the books themselves. While there is a Labyrinth that plays into the plot a little bit, it makes it hard to keep track of the books (I just discovered that I missed the Annihilation Score). But that's pretty much the worst criticism I have.
Mhari makes for a strong protagonist as she leads a deep cover assignment of expendables on a multi-level goal into America. The story is told like a heist, with a l
Stross has made me empathize with a vampire. A vampire who, when she was human, appeared to be a sociopath. Who used to be the HR manager for a bunch of quants. And who is now a baroness and Nyarlothotep's executioner. Stross is amazing.

The Laundry Files have always been dark. Since at least the days of Queen Elizabeth I, it seems, the Brits have been keeping demons on the payroll for the greater good, James Bonding their way to save humanity from worst demons. Now they've installed an elder go
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
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: espionage-spy, horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Sigh. Not one of the better Laundry books. Not the best characters, in fact really kind of hard to like any of the characters in this one. Even Brains and Pete are poorly used. Silly, but not in a good way. But not truly done badly. Stross is always interesting and this book is not an exception. And the book is always plausible if just barely so. But not an especially fast or enjoyable read.
Kevin Hogan
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a heist story, of a sort. If the protagonists pull off the heist, then things continue to get worse (and by extension, worse for humanity in general). If they fail, things will become Very Bad Indeed.

This book is told from a new POV, that of Mhari Murphy, Baroness Karnstein, PHANG, ex-HR.
Technowitty. 3.5 stars.
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...
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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)
“His Infernal Majesty leans towards me confidingly. “You have imposter syndrome,” He says, “but paradoxically, that’s often a sign of competence. Only people who understand their work well enough to be intimidated by it can be terrified by their own ignorance. It’s the opposite of Dunning-Kruger syndrome, where the miserably incompetent think they’re on top of the job because they don’t understand it.” 3 likes
“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
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