Sandman Slim is fantasy, horror, and mystery, gift-wrapped in a deliciously witty package. It’s got the cast of characters from Heaven, Hell and every place in between. Enough zombies, in various flavors, to satisfy anyone’s enthusiasm for gore. Enough violence to get your heart pumping.
The writing is sufficiently sophisticated, literate and sharp-edged that you have no doubt you are reading a book for grown-ups. This is no excursion into adolescent sparkly vampires. The undead are as far from cuddly as a bunny is from a crocodile.
The good guys aren’t particularly warm and fuzzy either. It’s a new perspective on angels and demons, good versus evil. The distinction between the good and bad guys is a matter of degree and ultimate intent. Both commit atrocities. It’s a matter of whose side you are on and what your final goal happens to be … and whether that’s evil or holy is a matter of opinion.
In Kadrey’s world, angels are as lethal as any of the bestial dead. Flaming swords or not, there’s nothing human or huggable about these heavenly hosts.
Meet Lucifer, Uriel and a few other big shots of the hereafter. Spend some time in Hell. Take a quick peek at Heaven.
Kadrey’s biting wit makes this first book and subsequent books in the series addictive. I read the first one, then hustled over to Amazon and bought the next two installments (Kill The Dead and Aloha From Hell).
It’s set in Los Angeles, but this is not your grandfather’s L.A.
“L.A.” says our hero, if indeed Sandman Slim can be classified as a hero, though he is indeed heroic, “is what happens when a bunch of Lovecraftian elder gods and porn starlets spend a weekend locked up in the Chateau Marmont snorting lines of crank off Jim Morrison’s bones. If the Viagra and illegal Traci Lords videos don’t get you going, then the Japanese tentacle porn will.”
In terms of hyper-literacy, Kadrey rivals Mike Carey, although these books are darker — and the Mike Carey’s Felix Castor books are very dark — and noticeably more violent. And gory. Jim Butcher on steroids and meth.
If fantasy is your genre and you don’t mind it getting gory, you might want to check these out. They aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are indisputably extremely well-written and the perspective of God, Heaven, Hell and human life is sufficiently unique to hook me. I don’t usually like quite this much violence and I really detest zombies … but the quality of the writing itself won the day. It might win you too.