Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ed's Mini Book Review - Kill the Dead by Robert Kadrey

Kill the DeadImage by Rrrrred via FlickrKill the Dead is the second Sandman Slim book by Robert Kadrey which piqued my curiosity in the series after seeing it on a number of Top 10 lists for Urban Fantasy in 2010. I decided to read the first Sandman Slim book, cleverly titled Sandman Slim, though the review for Kill the Dead that I read said I didn't really need to read the first book and it seems like they were lying a bit.

Kill the Dead picks up shortly after the end of Sandman Slim and if you didn't read the first book, there would a lot that you would not get right away or just go right over your head. Kadrey does a good job of getting you up to speed but I think there would be a little lost if you hadn't read Sandman Slim. Kadrey also doesn't waste any time getting back into things with an action piece right off the top and let's face it, that's why you would read something like this anyway, for some hard nosed action. I also like that Kadrey has no problems going for the brass ring and bringing in the heavy hitters. What does that mean? Read the book and find out.

I've read too many books that are looking to drag things out for the sequel or to continue the series that it sometimes feels that things aren't progressing or going anywhere anytime soon. Not this series (of two so far). Kadrey keeps the action moving and, in a departure from the first, the development of Stark (Sandman Slim) beyond the sociopath bent on revenge to....something else. He was fairly one dimensional in the first book but here, in amongst the action pieces, we get some growth with Stark that added a change a pace as the one tune Stark gets stale after a while.

I highly recommend the Sandman Slim books if you're into that sort of thing, fast paced action of the urban fantasy variety. I can't wait for book three!

My Grade: A

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ed's Mini Book Review - Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Richard Kadrey's Sandman SlimImage by Chorazin via FlickrA few weeks ago, I catch this list of the top Urban Fantasy Books of 2010 on Geeks of Doom, and numero uno on the list is the second Sandman Slim book, Kill the Dead. So, if I'm going to check out the what they say is the number one book, then I should read book one of the series.

My impression was that Sandman Slim it a bit of a rip-off. He's Harry Dresden meets Joe Pitt. He's the guy who can wield some pretty bad mojo but unlike Dresden, he doesn't care who is in the way or who he has to go through to get what he needs. Before I go any further, here's the set-up. Stark (Sandman Slim) used to run with some bad boys who could all toss around some magic. Stark has potential but he's too busy playing the bad boy type, pissing everybody off, including some in his circle of magic users. So one day, they turn on him and banish him to hell where he spends the next eleven years enduring all types of torture and developing the rep of a demon killer from fighting in the arena and surviving, thus earning the nickname, Sandman Slim.

After escaping from the heat locker downstairs, Stark goes all out to get those that sent him there with, as I mentioned above, little regard for who or what gets in his way. Now, I've had some message board discussions with others that read Sandman Slim and Stark's one tone act turned them off. There was really no growth or change to the character and he spent basically all of the book being a bad ass with the fight first as ask questions later mentality. And those people were right about Stark....but damn if it wasn't a fun ride along with him.

For me, this was a fun little book. At times I thought, this is what Harry Dresden could do if he ever went off the deep end. Action galore, snappy dialog, and too-cool characters pepper Sandman Slim like Manny used to on the Green Monster. If action fiction with a little bit of supernatural is your thing, I recommend Sandman Slim. Plus, it gets you closer to Kill the Dead, which you don't need the this book necessarily to read, but it helps out.

My Grade: B+

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