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The Perdition Score: A Sandman Slim Novel Hardcover – June 28, 2016
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From the Back Cover
The request from Thomas Abbot, the Augur of the Sub Rosa council, couldn’t come at a better time for James Stark, aka Sandman Slim. For a man who’s most recently met Death—and Death’s killer—a few months of normal life is more than he can handle. He needs a little action, and now Abbot wants Stark and Candy to investigate the disappearance of a young boy—and help uncover council members who might be tied to Wormwood’s power brokers.
Stark’s plans change when he meets a dying angel who gives him a vial of a mysterious black liquid that could be a secret weapon in the ongoing war between angels who want to allow human souls into Heaven and rebel angels willing to die to keep them out. When one of Stark’s closest friends is poisoned with the black liquid, Stark and Candy have to go to the only place where they might find a cure—Hell.
But standing in their way are the damned souls who, even after death, still work for Wormwood. The secret deal they’ve struck with the rebel angels is darker than anything Stark has ever encountered. Not only does the fate of the world hang in the balance, but so do the souls of everyone in it. Stark has to find a way to break the stalemate in the angel war, score the Perdition cure for the black poison, and make it back to L.A. in one piece . . . where an old enemy waits to finish him once and for all.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey has published nine novels, including Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, Devil Said Bang, Kill City Blues, The Getaway God, Killing Pretty, Butcher Bird, and Metrophage, and more than fifty stories. He has been immortalized as an action figure, his short story “Goodbye Houston Street, Goodbye,” was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award, and Butcher Bird was nominated for the Prix Elbakin in France. A freelance writer and photographer, he lives in San Francisco, California.
Top customer reviews
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At about the 25% mark I find myself actively engaged in the story, though, and enjoying it. I love the characters (Stark is actually my least favorite.) and the universe is just mad enough that it remains intriguing. I get to the denouement, and often feel a little cheated, as if there was too much build-up and not quite enough pay-off. But by the end, I'm usually pretty satisfied. Enough so that I know I'm going to read the next one. I believe Kadrey has said that the next book will be the last Sandman Slim, though, and frankly I'm glad. I'm not sure how much more he can wring out of this universe.
As for the particulars, Perdition Score has the usual cast of characters: Stark, Candy (now known as Chihiro) Kasabian, Vidocq and Allegra. The plot revolves around the chaos in Hell now that Lucifer has left. Nearly everyone wants to get into Heaven, but in spite of Mr Munnin's promise, the gates of Heaven remain closed thanks to a war between the angels who want to open Heaven and those who do not. A group of both living and dead magicians known as "Wormwood" are trading in a mysterious substance called "black milk," and when one of Stark's friends is poisoned with it, he is forced to go back to Hell and try to track down the one thing he believes will save his friend.
In the end, though we've been here before, the story is satisfying. It ends on an oddly disturbing note, but I'm assuming that will be resolved in the final novel. And yes, I'll read it. I may have reservations about the series, but now that I know it's a finite one, I'm willing to ride along to the end. Bottom line is that Kadrey has never disappointed me even if I find later books to be a little repetitive.
One of the best entries into the series. It really explores Stark's relationships, both with himself and others. It is nice to see him finally going head to head with a certain group (spoilers) that make money off of literally EVERY decision he makes. I also enjoy the creative ways in which Kadrey gets around Stark not having access to the Room of Thirteen Doors. This leads to the appearance of another minor character...as well as Hell, Lucifer, the Sub Rosa, and even old flames also make an appearance. The ending leaves you wanting more. Especially when it is something that Stark, and the reader hasn't had to deal with as of yet. Also, Candy going full Jade is always a nice thing.
For this installment, it kind of feels like the novel is supposed to be a pivot for Stark. It seems that a particular Angel grows on him far more quickly than you'd actually expect from having read the rest of the series. I took off a star for this because it just seemed too jarring for me to have him take to this Angel in such a short time. I'm excited to see where we go from here, though.