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Kill City Blues: A Sandman Slim Novel Hardcover – July 30, 2013
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James Stark, the once-dead nephilim (half-human, half-angel) who spent 11 years in Hell as the Devil’s contract killer, before he took a turn being the Devil, has recently returned to the land of the living. He’s hoping for a (relatively) stress-free life back on Earth, but there’s this one tiny problem: the Qomrama Om Ya, a weapon of almost unimaginable power designed by one bunch of gods to kill another bunch of gods, has gone missing, and unless Stark (aka Sandman Slim) can find it, the world could be in store for all sorts of mayhem. All right, it’s not such an insignificant problem after all. In fact, for most people it would be a mind-boggling, panic-inducing problem, but if you know Stark, you know he’s a pretty cool dude. A deft mixture of urban fantasy and light comedy, the fifth Sandman Slim novel is sure to appeal to the author’s growing fan base, not to mention readers of such writers as Jim Butcher, P. N. Elrod, and F. Paul Wilson. --David Pitt
“Hot damn, a new Sandman Slim novel! I will fight you for it if I have to.Yes, the series is just that good (P.S., I will fight VERY VERY DIRTY).” (John Scalzi)
“A deft mixture of urban fantasy and light comedy, the fifth Sandman Slim novel is sure to appeal to the author’s growing fan base, not to mention readers of such writers as Jim Butcher, P. N. Elrod, and F. Paul Wilson.” (Booklist)
“One of the great horror setups of all time.… If there’s one thing Kill City Blues demonstrates, it’s that Kadrey’s still got a ton of material for Sandman Slim. I can’t wait to read it all.” (Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.com)
“The series is part fantasy, part gothic horror, part crime noir. It’s filled with knowing winks about pop culture and told at a breathless pace that can’t be bothered with actual chapters.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)
“We can savor every insight from a grand master of the blunt exposition.” (Locus)
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Top Customer Reviews
SO I have finally read it and holy whatever, this was so damn good. Totally a surprise for me just how good it was. There is so much that happens here, I'm not really sure how to convey it, but like any other Sandman Slim book, this is a series of set pieces that explore our hero's psyche and show his true self. He might be a monster in his own eyes and in the eyes of many, but there is also that heroic feature in him where even if he doesn't like doing the right thing, he does it anyway. He helps so many even if he has to get nasty.
I will say that Kill City, which is the titular location, is not a big part of the book though it is a significant sequence. I thoroughly enjoyed the teams adventure through a broken down mall full of monsters. But again, this is a Sandman Slim novel which is always about the set pieces rather than anything else.
He has grown a lot over the books and so has Richard Kadrey. The series is widening it's scope giving us more and more and though there might be an end in sight (Not too soon I hope), there is so much in this world to explore.
In the last book Stark had escaped from Hell - not as a damned soul, but as an unwilling Lucifer - and stuck Mr. Munnin, who turns out to be a fragment of the being we call "God," with the job. To make matters more complicated, the Angra Om Ya, the beings who (allegedly) really made the Universe, are trying to come back, and they're pissed. And Stark is missing the Qomrama, the one weapon that _might_ defeat them ... if he can it back, and if he can figure out how to use it.
He starts raising Hell in L.A.'s magical community, and finally gets the clue he needs - the Qomrama is in Kill City, a giant fallen (literally) shopping mall inhabited by the dregs of magical society. With a team of his closest associates plus one he doesn't want, Stark invades Kill City. Not everybody is going to make it out alive...
The action is paced carefully. The dark wit is constant. The characters, and especially Stark's, are compelling. And it sets everything up pretty well for the finale, or so it seems.
If you haven't read a Sandman Slim novel, don't start here. Too many characters have histories that would be lost on a new reader. The overall premise billed on the jacket cover is an oversimplification of the story. Sandman Slim is back after having served his time as Satan and waiting to see what happens next. And just like the troublesome character that he is, trouble seems to find him no matter what. That trouble is in the form of the... oh, just read the book for that part. The rest of the book reads more like a gumshoe novel where Sandman Slim and his friends try to track down the missing (spoiler) in an abandoned shopping mall. Kadrey hasn't been shy about bumping off a character or two along the way so you never really know if everyone is going to make it or not. I'd estimate that the adventure into the dead shopping mall is about only the last third of the book so there's plenty of intrigue and action along the way.
The fun part of these books are the "do or die" nature of Sandman Slim. There's a whole noir-esque feeling to the world that he lives in. It's our world but seedy and mysterious all at the same time. And although you know that he's going to do the right thing and go through a whole army of nuns if necessary, it's still fun to read it. Worth the time.