The Jennifer Morgue – Charles Stross

I read this a little while back, so this will only be a cursory go over, and even if I’d read it today, there’s a massive problem with saying anything about this book. Basically, to be as enthusiastic as I want to be, I’d have to spoil a major plot-point which comes up late in the book. And I couldn’t possibly do that. There would be no good point to it. But to discuss the book without that, I sound incredibly passionate and keen about a book that doesn’t seem to have that much to recommend it. Plot aside, the characters are a little developed from the previous book, the Atrocity Archive, and not in a way that works brilliantly. Mo really gets on my nerves. Pinky and Brain turn up less, which is really not great because they were /amazing/, and there are fewer excellent walk-in parts. The setting is not explored much further, and in less detail than the first book because it doesn’t have the groundwork to set up. Much of the feeling of the book is undermined by the little extra bit of story at the end, which spoils the proper plot crescendo and resolution by being a little crescendo and resolution, and so much less satisfying than the main plot, but right there at the end so you put the book down feeling that the whole thing fell a little flat, even though, when you reached the end of the major part of the action, it felt amazing and brilliant and completely well-put-together.

But there’s one major part of the plot that makes it all ok. Every little failing plaguing all other aspects of the book is wiped clean away and forgiven for this one, wonderful thing. And I can’t tell you what it is. I can’t even hint because it would spoil the book so rottenly that I’d feel guilty. But I promise you, fervently and truly, that it is worth reading the book for that clever little excellence. Really. It is enough, on its own, to make this a book I love.


About readerofelse

A student of a redundant, useless and thoroughly interesting subject and reader of many books, particularly fantasy, science fiction and plenty else besides.
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