What a pleasant surprise! Lovecraftian horror at it’s finest with a wonderful dash of humor to boot. I’m relatively new to the science fiction genre, and I had never actually heard of Charles Stross nor did I know that this little novella was part of a series until after I had picked it up. Equoid is a stand alone story it can be read easily without having read any of the other books in the series.
“Americans think we Brits drink tea because we’re polite and genteel or something, whereas we really drink it because it’s a stimulant and it’s hot enough to sterilize cholera bacteria.”
I loved the mix of old Lovecraftian horror in a modern setting. Bob is a likable protagonist and the story stayed surprisingly lighthearted despite the seriously dark and creepy subject matter. Equoid takes the classically pure unicorn from traditional fantasy and transforms it into a terrifying creature of nightmares. This re-imagining of the unicorn is definitely not for the faint of heart and I have to note some extreme trigger warnings.
The story was fantastic and I loved all the little twists and turns as it progressed. Despite the fact that at the end it is pretty clear how the rest of the story plays out, it drove me batty that it is left somewhat ambiguous and I wished that the ending was better developed, it felt extremely rushed. The book left me wanting more and really piqued my interest in The Laundry Files. I will definitely be looking more into the series in the future.
For Bob Howard, a working day tends to alternate between desperately trying not to fall asleep in committee meetings and being menaced by tentacular horrors from beyond spacetime. That’s because Bob works for the Laundry, the secret British government agency tasked with protecting the realm from occult nightmares. So when his manager Iris sends him off to the countryside to liaise with a veterinary inspector from the Department of the Environment, Fisheries, and rural Affairs, at first he takes it as a pleasant vacation. But why is Edgebaston Farm’s livery stable buying a hundred kilos of raw meat per day? Why does his briefing file contain the death-bed confession of that old fraud, H. P. Lovecraft? And why is his contact from DEFRA so deathly afraid of unicorns…?