I picked this up on one of those $4.95 sales. The main character was a gritty bad boy with a chip on his shoulder looking for some payback. There was plenty of action with lots of fights. If you are sensitive about hell, demons and fallen angels then I would skip this, but if your not then you might find this interesting. I am not claiming this will win any literary awards but it is entertaining.
I usually don't start reading a trilogy from an author I'm don't know. However I got this when it was being offered on sale and the reviews were very good. After I finished this one I knew I was hooked the Narrator MacLeod Andrews Made this book come alive. After finishing this book I got the next two in the series, and all I can say it it only got better. Start with Sandman Slim and then go on to book two and three. You won't be disappointed. So much action and twists and turns. It all ended much to quickly for me. I don't know if Richard Kadrey is planing to write any more either Sandman or other novels, I think he is a wonderful writer and knows how to keep people interested in his story. .
This mountain of books isn't going to listen to itself.
Narrator ROCKS. The development of the characters is a bit slow at first. But he adds in a little bit at a time and it makes for a great book. I have not shed a tear in a few years and the ending made me do that. Maybe because i relate to the main guy. This one is not a waste of a credit... if you listen to the whole thing. AND are not very religious.
This book was excellent. To many Urban Fantasies have their main characters sometimes too inept for words, wondering into dangerous situations that after about the third of forth book has you wondering how they have lived so long. This character doesn't wonder into anything, he goes in like Charles Bronson on speed and even when he comes out hurt who ever he's fighting knows they've been in a fight. I've always loved vampire stories, but too often vampires are made to be too weak and used to much. (The only exception these days are the vampires in the Harry Dresden series.) There's no vampires in this book (except maybe one) only, immortal alchemists, cute video store managers, Homeland Security's answer to defense against darkness, crazy magic users, homicidal Angels, really pissed off Demons and Devils, and somethings else that's best described as creations afterbirth that lived and grew to something worse then Hell in too many ways. Here's hoping this becomes a series because I'd buy every single volume Mr. Kadrey put out. It's just that good.
More sympathetic characters, less grade school level cursing and insults.
If this is indicative of his usual work, then no.
He actually did an alright job, considering the super ultra tough guy and other boring cliches he had to work with. It was a little silly that he gave a Mexican accent to everyone who had a Hispanic sounding name.
I was mostly just bored. Stark isn't even remotely interesting or likeable.
Honestly, this book almost reads like some relabeled self-insert fan fiction. Stark is just about perfect in every way, has all kinds of amazing powers, no weaknesses, always has some (amazingly stupid) one liner, but the greatest thing is how he becomes immune to any attack after he survives it once.
To be fair, I was laughing pretty much any time a character talked about their state of the art Blackberries.
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
The combination of great author and narrarator. The author brings a punk sensibility to the urban fantasy genre.
The fast paced story and humor. Also, you can tell the author is a real cyberpunk fan as this story has elements of that genre throughout.
Casabian is the best character. He brings a lot of humor and attitude to the story.
Go ahead and get the whole series all the books are great. macLeod Andrews does a stellar job with the voice acting as well.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
There were things that I loved about this book and there were things that were unbelievably lame.
First, the Good:
The modern supernatural setting in LA is bloody brilliant. I've sampled a good amount of this genre: Dresden, Mercy Thompson, Iron Druid, American Gods, and this one holds its own very well. In one novel Kadrey elaborates some supernatural arcana, teases others, and leaves himself plenty of room to explore.
The action is solid, gruesome, plentiful and well described. While it may not refine exactly who has what powers and the exact mechanics of each, you still get clearly depicted fight scenes, explosions, magical fireballs and whatnot. You're never left waiting long and the story moves quickly.
The story is a common trope: Hero returns from long absence for revenge or redemption, finds world has changed and has to cope with changes and adversity on the way to his goal. See: Payback, The Perfect Weapon, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!, and about a million others. On its own this is fine, if not particularly innovative, but it does play extremely well with the supernatural setting.
The title character is a joke. And it is not because Kadrey can't write good characters. Most of the ones in the book are just fine, some are extremely well developed. Stark (Sandman Slim) is a cartoon.
He is a magically gifted kid who at 19 is betrayed and sent, still alive, to Hell to be tortured and made to fight in gladiatorial combat for 11 years. That in itself is really, really cool. Unfortunately, his portrayal is that of a 14 year old with all the cynicism of a vetran IRS agent depicted by Chuck Palahniuk and a constant pathological need to prove what a tough guy he is. It's silly. It took me 10 minutes to hate him. After that all the trouble he gets himself into is well deserved. I started rooting for people to beat some sense into him.
You can just imagine him thinking, "what would a tough guy drink/smoke/say?" It is like every sentence about the title character should end with, "because I'm a badass."
That said, Andrews's depiction of Slate is dead on. He sounds exactly like he reads, like a young guy trying to do a Jack Nicholson impression. I was well satisfied with Andrews's reading mostly. I had do take some points off for his French accent. It's close, but the way he pronounces Rs are an abomination.
Sure. It was enjoyable and fast-paced. Definitely worth listening to.
Not really sure.
I tried listening to "Shadow Prowler", and he gave a decent performance, I just didn't care for the story. His performance here is better, and he improves upon it in "Kill the Dead", which I've just started.
No. Too long.
If you're easily offended, you should avoid this book. There is much foul language and what some would consider blasphemy. I don't think it'll ever be considered a classic, but it was fun.
Terribly terribly boring. I just couldn't give a poop about any of these characters and the story and writing was just a little too hectic for me. Every other paragraph had someone getting shot at or fighting or something exploding, but there was never any real character development in-between to make all of the action interesting (or pertinent). It read like a bad Steven Seagal action movie (sorry, a bit redundant - all of his movies are bad). Maybe this genre just isn't for me. I found the magic to be not very interesting or magical and the characters simple and predictable. The reader was very good though - I'd definitely listen to other books read by Mr. Andrews.
I'm the author of The Home Distiller's Workbook. I'm a geek-prepper-shiner. Currently into Urban Fantasy, Biz and Post Apocalyptic
I wish I knew
Not for me.
Urban Fantasy is a very difficult genre, the author has to take a world that already exists, one that we are all similar with and then add to that in a way that allows the reader to believe in the fantasy. Suspension of disbelief is more difficult to maintain because we are constantly being reminded by the real world setting that these things are fantastical. It felt like Kadrey never even tried. And when an element no longer worked for him he would just change the rules of the world. One moment and the protagonist can do X, Y and Z and the next moment he can't and then again he can?
Worse Kadrey is definitely trying to create an antihero here and instead the "hero" is just a brainless ass. He pisses of everyone and not in that I'm a tortured soul and you don't get my underlining pain sort of way. It's more of the I'm a little boy who is so motionlessly underdeveloped that his decisions are so out of place that it actually rips you out of the story and thinking, "that's just stupid, no one would ever do that".
I'll be honest I had a hard time with world that was being created because it felt completely contrived from the author's own imagination and was not based on any current mythology as we understand it. Compound that by me being a student of myth and it felt like a little kids made up world. So yes I could see other people who could get past that liking the world but I can't see anyone liking the protagonist or for that matter the gross plot holes in the story. It felt like someone's first attempt at writing.
Here is a perfect example. The book is called Sandman Slim because that is the nickname of the hero. Except that he doesn't know it. We found out about 2/3rds of the way trough the book. Ok, I am fine with this except for why he earned the name Sandman Slim. Would you like to know? So would I. It's never addressed.
Bad guy: "What ever you say Sandman Slim"
Hero: "Who is Sandman Slim"
Bad guy: "You are, it's what everyone calls you"
Hero: "Ok, then, anyway..."
No reference as to where it came from, it's like the writer was halfway through the book and came up with what he thought was a bad ass nickname and thought, screw it, I'll just toss it in here and I don't have to justify where it came from. The problem is that the whole book is like this. Stuff just constantly shows up and the author does nothing to blend it into the story line.