I loved this book. A great mix of spy-thriller, paranormal comedy with a geeky twist. Bob Howard is the main character and the "geekish demonological hacker" that relates the story.
General story is not that important; just think Bond film. Evil bad guy is trying to take over the world, and our hero is trying to stop him (but never seems to get briefed as to what is going on.)
There were some passages that really struck my funny bone, including a ranting on the horrors of PowerPoint and a meeting with his supervisor while dreaming to avoid eavesdropping.
A few of the descriptions of the occult and technology are hilarious, such as:
"The entity that calls herself Ramona Random--hell that might even be her real name, back when she was human, before the Black Chamber rebuilt her into the equivalent of an occult guided missile, is properly secured in the next room. Sitting in the bedroom closet--in front of the two holes Brains has drilled in the wall--is a tripod with a laser, a beam splitter, and a thermostatically controlled box containing a tissue culture grown from something that really ought not to exist, all wired up to a circuit board the looks like M.C. Escher designed it after taking too much acid."
"Give me a bottle of Mountain Dew, an MP3 player hammering out something by VNV Nation, and a crate of Pringles: that's like being at home. Give me root access on a hostile necromancer's server farm and I am
some of it I don't even understand but it made me giggle, like this description of a weapon:
"Walther P99, 9mm caliber, fifteen-round magazine, silver hollow-points engraved with a demicyclic banishment circuit in ninety-nanometer Enochain."
The book was a great read, and one of the few books I would consider reading again just for fun. I have read a few other books by Mr. Stross, but this was by far my favorite. I will definitely search out more of the title in this series.