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Aloha from Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel Hardcover – October 18, 2011
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“Richard Kadrey’s ‘Sandman Slim’ series is one of my favorite sets of fantasy books from the last few years…” (John Scalzi)
“I hope Kadrey keeps putting out Sandman Slim books for the next 20 years. They’re that much fun to read.” (Wired)
“Kadrey’s prose is raw and gutter-tough, Raymond Chandler meets Lux Interior at the Whisky a Go Go at the end of days.” (Austin Chronicle)
“This bad-ass supernatural horror stuff is clearly the material he was born to write. Kadrey has an ungodly (literally) amount of fun with Stark’s wryer-than-wry and violenter-than-violent observations and dialog.” (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)
“Full of action, wit, and suspense, this grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Kadrey is a master storyteller (overused, I know, but very apt) and he will have you rooting for him in Hell and on Earth.” (Suspense magazine)
“Kadrey knows how to spin a story, his prose is crisp and effortless, and the entertainment value is high.” (Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction on Kill the Dead)
“Compelling...brilliantly metaphoric...profane mixture of noir atmospherics, black humor, and nonstop action will please Kadrey’s many fans.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Kadrey’s stylized treatment of the ubiquitous urban fantasy genre makes it seem fresh” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The perfect escapist storyline … side-splittingly funny. … gruesome slapstick mixed with down-and-dirty Hammett-esque mayhem and double-dealing. … If you’ve been hoping someone would bring the full-strength SoCal toxic waste to the urban fantasy game, then Sandman Slim is your poison.” (io9.com)
“If authors were tarot cards, Richard Kadrey would unarguably be the Hierophant of Paranormal Fantasy.” (Paul Goat Allen)
“…endlessly inventive and high-octane…Kadrey’s an excellent writer who’s able to juggle all of it without dropping a single pin.” (Locus)
“Everything a sequel should be; that is, more. … There’s hardly a moment where you’re not chewing your fingernails to the wrist wondering what happens next. … Kadrey is a hell of a writer, versatile and seasoned, and these pulpy, dark, ultraviolent novels are his best work yet.” (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)
“James Stark, antihero of 2009’s Sandman Slim, returns in this gritty, over-the-top tale of supernatural mayhem…Profane, intensely metaphoric language somehow makes self-tortured monster Stark sympathetic and turns a simple story into a powerful noir thriller.” (Publishers Weekly on KILL THE DEAD)
“Witty, gritty, over-the-top mayhem to care. If you mixed Jim Butcher with Christopher Moore, forced a kicking and screaming Warren Ellis in after them, and shook well, you’d get . . . well, I’d be careful opening the mixer. But the result wouldn’t be too far away from this.” (Daytona Beach News)
“Hilarious … belongs up there with Dresden Files and Felix Castor novels. … some of the best supernatural buddy comedy ever created. ... This is that rare sequel that’s actually better than the first book (which was plenty great) and manages to take several leaps forward.” (io9.com)
If you like your horror stories with a little camp, a little quirkiness and a whole lot of blood and gore then Kill The Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel by Richard Kadrey will be right up your alley. (Las Vegas Review Journal)
“Think Get Shorty meets Hellraiser.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“If Simon R. Green wrote an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, it would read much like Sandman Slim – violent, vivid, non-stop action of the supernatural kind. I couldn’t put it down.” (Charlaine Harris)
“Dirty, disgusting, vulgar, violent, poisonously testosterone-driven, so politically incorrect it ought to be prosecuted, and generally all-round offensively in your face. … I loved it. It’s amazing.” (Robin McKinley)
“A sharp-edged urban fantasy, drenched in blood and cynicism, tipping its hat to Sam Peckinpah, Raymond Chandler and the anti-heroes of Hong Kong cinema. Kadrey brings it off through the propulsive force of Stark’s in-your-face, first-person, present-tense narration. It’s a bravura performance.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Nicotine and octane in equal parts might come close to the high-energy buzz from Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. Crisp world building, recognizable and fully-realized characters, and a refreshingly unique storytelling style make for an absorbing read.Sandman Slim is my kind of hero.” (Kim Harrison)
“The most hard-boiled piece of supernatural fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. … all confident and energetic and fresh and angry. I loved this book and all its screwed-up people.” (Cory Doctorow)
“Kadrey combines humor and horror to create a lively, scary tale of urban warfare with plenty of gory action in Kill The Dead.’ (Deseret News)
“His best work yet. . . . Kadrey tells his story in a swirl of tight, darkly intense prose. . . . Sandman Slim is very, very good indeed.” (SF Site)
“Sandman Slim is one of the best books I have read in a very, very long while. Richard Kadrey is a genius. I read it on the plane ride home and was totally blown away.” (Holly Black)
“Paced like greased lightning (watch out for friction burns on your turning finger), blend the movie-ish delights of tough guy noir and such smart-mouthgore-fests as “Reanimator” and “Army of Darkness”, seasoned by soupcons of Gaimanian romanticism and Koontzian sentiment.” (Booklist)
“Kadrey’s tale lives on a tightrope, but the author nails the right balance of detective fiction and theological fantasy, seriousness and humor, pathos and absurdity.” (Lincoln Star Journal)
“Kadrey really is the anti-Twilight. Raw, real, funny, furious, all full of piss and hemoglobin. His third Sandman Slim novel, in which the supernatural anti-hero must go back to Hell to stop a war with Heaven, may be his finest.” (Fearnet)
From the Back Cover
Supernatural fantasy’s greatest anti-hero goes back to hell!
In Sandman Slim Stark came back from hell for revenge.
In Kill the Dead he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer’s bodyguard.
Once again all is not right in L.A. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God is on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.
Stark’s got to head back down to his old stomping grounds in Hell to rescue his long lost love, stop an insane serial killer, prevent both Good and Evil from completely destroying each other, and stop the demonic Kissi from ruining the party for everyone.
Even for Sandman Slim, that’s a tall order. And it’s only the beginning.
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Top Customer Reviews
Also, there's the constant mix-up with Max Overdrive being called Max Overload, and then being referred to Max Overdrive again for the remaining half of the novel. I have a feeling this is just the author messing with readers.
There are some editing issues too, at least for the kindle editions. And these books have been out for a while by now. In one part of the book, Kasabian is accidentally referred to as Mason. Anyway, these are all just nitpicks. I have really enjoyed the stories to this point, and I'll most likely buy and read the whole series.
Stark's slowly getting past memories and dreams of his murdered girlfriend, Alice, and has started seeing Candy, a monster in her own right. But when a search for a missing teenager reveals some unexpected and unpleasant suprises, he realizes he's let his worst enemy accrue too much power and become a threat. Something must be done.
And that something involves returning to Hell to rescue the soul of his beloved Alice, rescuing a demon general from Tartarus - the place the denizens of Hell go when they die, bringing the powerful but chaotic Kissi into line, getting to know Jack the Ripper, and finishing once and for all his deadly feud with Mason Faim.
If that sounds like a lot, it kind of is. Kadrey is not afraid to stuff his books with great ideas and inventive plot points - it's one of the things that make his writing so propulsive and readable - but while his previouis outings have done that and done it well, "Aloha from Hell" feels just a bit over-stuffed. As usual, Stark is a fountain of black humor, but it's a notch less funny than in the last novel, and although the author continues to studiously weave all elements of the story to completion - Kadrey appears to hate plot holes, for which he is to be lauded - it seems a little rushed at times.
That's not to say that, if you like the previous Sandman Slim books, you won't like this one - you will. It's just not quite as strong as the prior two novels. (I'm already looking forward to book four...)
The hero and narrator of these wham bam thank you ma’am supernatural thrillers is James Stark, aka Sandman Slim. He was wafted off to Hell while still alive, endured eleven years there as slave and gladiator and later enforcer, came back to earth and is now wreaking vengeance on those who originally betrayed him (and killed his girlfriend too) and then on any supernatural meanies who threaten little things like the Future of the Universe. The bad guys he fights are really, really bad –I mean capital letter BAD, how else can I write it? He ends up doubling for Lucifer for a short time but he’s not very good at it: his heart just isn’t in it. Along the way, he finds out why he survived one assault after the other in the gladiators’ arena in Hell: he’s not human. He’s half-angel and thus an Abomination (that’s what they call him) in the eyes of the more self-righteous of Heaven’s angels. He’s really only good at one thing, killing, but he’s very good at that and most of the time, he’s fighting the good fight. Most of the time. He’s got a new girlfriend, Candy. She’s a Jade, which is a scarier version of vampire, all claws and fangs when she manifests her Jade self to suck the life and soul out her victim. For now, she’s on a methadone-like substitution diet that keeps her need of human essence locked down (Most of the time.) Stark has an apartmentmate too, a man whose head he cut off in the first installment of the series. But he didn’t kill him, just separated head from body, and he feels a little bad he did it, so he and Kassabian coexist now, are almost buddies --they run a video store together that offers movie classics that were never made, along with a killer collection of porn and horror flicks. There are other friends and allies. A two-hundred-year-old man, Vidocq, a whiz with potions, who functions as a surrogate father to Stark. (Most of the time.) His great-grandfather, now in Hell after being back shot in a card game, the legendary Wild Bill Hickock. When he was Lucifer, Stark set Bill up in a bar in Hell and he visits there every so often to quaff a few shots of Aqua Regia and smoke a few Maledictions, Hell’s cigarettes and stronger than French Gitanes. Carlos runs the Bamboo House of Dolls in L. A. Stark likes to hang out there as do all sorts of non-human types good and evil. The stakes ratchet up from novel to novel in this peerless (of its own sort) series. Start hunts down the bad guys who sent him to Hell in the first place and wreaks vengeance on them (Sandman Slim, 2009); takes on zombies in Kill the Dead (2010); fights an insane serial killer and the demonic Kissi (think Nazi Storm Troopers with supernatural powers) in Aloha from Hell (2011); returns to Hell to take up the mantle of Lucifer, its ruler, in Devil Said Bang (2012); enters as haunted shopping mall to find a dead man’s ghost and win back a supernatural artifact that can end the world in Kill City Blues (2013); steps it up against a vicious killer named St. Nick in The Getaway God (2014); hunts for the man, or creature, that has just killed Death (with Dead dead, no one is dying any more) in Killing Pretty (2015); and returns to Hell (with his girlfriend Candy) to find a remedy for a black poison that has killed his best friend (Vidocq, but he’s dormant, not dead yet) in The Perdition Score (2016). The scenes of violence and bloodshed are frequent and graphic, but not stomach churning. The sex is handled in an off hand way –it’s part of Stark’s and Candy’s lives but not one that needs to be narrated in microsecond detail. The bad guys are really bad, really big, and really powerful. And at almost any moment, if Stark fails, something really bad will happen, ranging from the collapse of the barriers between Heaven and Hell to the destruction of the universe. It’s quality junk fiction, with no redeeming social value at all except that I loved it. I ate it up. I can’t wait for the next episode to appear.