Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror
Size: 448 pages
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Sandman Slim series
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an advanced reading copy of this book through the Amazon Vine Program. This is the third book in the Sandman Slim series by Kadrey. I have absolutely adored all of the Sandman Slim books; they have a grittiness to them that you don’t find in many other books and are incredibly creative and interesting…not to mention absolutely hilarious at times.
Stark (Sandman Slim) is enjoying the peace that has come after he annihilated all of the zombies in the entire world (I know, Stark never does thing small does he?). Well of course things never remain calm for long. Stark is called to look in to a demonic possession of a boy. Crazy thing is that the demon that’s possessed this boy seems to know Stark. Could this be a simple demon posession? Of course not, all roads lead to Hell and this little twist is no exception to the rule.
I absolutely love these books. I love Stark’s witty, sarcastic, and absolutely hilarious comments. Yes, you need a dark sense of humor to laugh at this book…but if you have that there is so much to laugh at. It is all written in such a clever, sarcastic, and just absolutely wonderful way. As with previous books there is swearing, sex, violence, violence, and did I say violence? in spades…those with weak stomachs you may want to read elsewhere.
Stark is everything anyone could want in a half-angelic anti-hero. His angelic side is constantly trying to rope him into saving the innocent; which Stark can be talked into if it lines up with taking care of his own personal vendettas. Candy (the Jade) is in this story a lot more too, which is great. I missed her is the second book and she is exactly who Stark needs. Who better to back him up than a woman who can liquefy the men/demons who piss her off and eat them for dinner?
This whole book reads like something between a gritty Noire movie and a gory horror film. Everything everyone says is a bit over the top and you never know what you are going to run into next. At points the story reminds me of The Nightside series by Simon Green; you never know what deity, what devil, or what reality you are going to find yourself in next. The story always keeps you guessing and keeps you on your toes and is just absolutely wonderful.
So, yeah, I pretty much loved everything about this book. There were some parts when Stark is down in Hell that dragged a bit and we have a lot of Hellion Generals’ names thrown at us which are a bit hard to keep track of. That being said, this is probably the weakest of the Sandman Slim books. Given how much I absolutely love these book though even the weakest book in this series is spades above most other books out there.
Overall I just loved it and gobbled it up and can’t wait for more. This book isn’t for everyone; it is full of violence, swearing, and Stark is offensive (yet oddly noble) in numerous ways. If you like your urban fantasy gritty, down-and-drity, full of craziness, with mind-blowing action, and surprising twists then this is the book for you. Don’t start with this book though, go back and read the first two books first; Sandman Slim and Kill the Dead are just as awesome. If you are a Nightside fan, a Dresden Files fan, or a Spellbent fan come and check this series out!