Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: The Rhesus Chart

My brother sent me a copy of The Rhesus Chart, because he saw my review of The Annihliation Score and thought that The Rhesus Chart was a much better novel that didn't deserve to be skipped. You know what, he's right. I shouldn't have skipped The Rhesus Chart.

The Rhesus Chart is the laundry series' take on vampires. Unlike the Anne Rice or Stephanie Meyer novels, Stross depicts the vampires as blood-sucking investment bankers, which is far more appropriate than the usual depiction in literature.

The novel moves along at high speed once past the initial denouement and set up, and Stross is at his best when juxtaposing computer science with the occult. The integration of vampires with the laundry is fun in a typically British way, but Stross doesn't use the comedic potential as well as he could have.

The climax of the novel happens in the last 10% of the book, and worse, the most exciting part happens off-stage as it were. (My guess is that Stross tried to dramatize it and couldn't do it convincingly) Nevertheless a much more fun read than the following laundry book, though as other observers have stated, giving the protagonist so much power at the end of The Rhesus Chart probably meant that Stross had written himself into a corner as far as Bob Howard (the protagonist) is concerned.


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