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Publisher's Summary

"I loved where Kadrey started with this series, but I love where he's going even more." (New York Times best-selling author Cory Doctorow) 

Sandman Slim is back in Los Angeles and kicking more supernatural ass in this inventive, high-octane pause-resister - the next to last volume in the popular and acclaimed fantasy adventure series from New York Times best-selling author Richard Kadrey.

As the battle between warring angels continues, James Stark is focused on seemingly simpler matters now that he’s resurfaced on earth: an invasion of ghosts. LA’s Little Cairo neighborhood has suddenly been overrun by violent spirits, and Thomas Abbott knows if anyone can figure out why they’ve appeared - and how to get rid of them - it’s Stark. 

Armed with the Room of Thirteen Doors, Stark quickly learns that the answer may reach back to the 1970s and the unsolved murder of small-time actor, Chris Stein. As he begins to dig into the cold case, another area of Stark’s life takes an unexpected turn when he becomes entangled with Janet, a woman he saved during the High Plains Drifter zombie attack. 

Janet’s brush with the living dead hasn’t quenched her thirst for danger. She’s an adrenaline junkie and a member of The Zero Lodge - a club that promises “there’s zero chance you’ll get out alive”. The Lodge attracts thrill seekers who flock to perilous events such as night walks through the LA Zoo - with its deadliest animals uncaged. Joining the lodge to be with Janet, Stark makes a pair of crucial discoveries that could decide the fate of LA and Heaven itself.

To prevent the Little Cairo haunting from consuming the city, Stark must piece together the connections between the Lodge and a missing angel last seen in a Hollywood porn palace. But while he may dispatch the ghosts, Stark knows that without his help, the bloody war in Heaven could rage forever.

©2020 Richard Kadrey (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Ballistic Kiss

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Prompuns.......

Sandman slim is back with another exciting adventure, unfortunately this time he is bringing a dose of gender politics alonng for the ride. look forward to long explinations on the matter, and a confusing use of they/them that will leave you wondering who they are talking about. Still worth buying just dont be suprised when the soap box appears. Im really hoping this is not what i have to look foward to forthe rest of the series.

25 people found this helpful

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MacLeod Andrews is the best part of this one

I was disappointed in this latest installment of the Sandman Slim series.
The story didn't hold my attention and the action was rote and tepid.
Stark's new romance seems forced, and at odds with his character and common sense. The object of his seemingly genuine affection is a shallow idiot whose ridiculous behavior repeatedly puts him and others in danger. Not a credible story element.
I did find the last 30 minutes pretty enjoyable and reminiscent of previous installments, but not so much as to salvage the story.
I've owned every book in this series, some in three different formats. Not this one, I'm returning it.

23 people found this helpful

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Pronoun problems

The English language does not have any singular gender neutral pronouns, so when Stark starts dating a non-binary the pronouns become problematic. For example: A group of his friends walk into the bar. They sit next to him. His friends don’t sit next to him, his gender neutral friend with benefits does whose preferred pronouns are they and them. There is a lot of confusion for the reader associated with that. It pulls you out of the story. It doesn’t help that the character is an idiot and you’ll secretly wish for them to die. Sure there’s a whole explanation into gender identity and why they are the way they are, (When I say they, I mean the character not all gender neutral people.) but it just comes off as preachy and plot hole filler as to why she does the things she does. I hope they get killed off in the next book.

23 people found this helpful

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pronoun politics for the fail

standard sandman slim with pointless pronoun politics to add to the confusion. enjoy trying to figure out who they are.

22 people found this helpful

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What’s with the gender pronouns

I had been waiting anxiously for this book only to be disappointed. Why infuse all the gender politics? I don’t listen/read a book to have this crap shoveled at me. If Mr Kadrey wishes to accept this nonsense that’s fine for him, but I think he should find a different platform. Sandman slim and the other characters are great as always. How ever this new love interest is trash.

20 people found this helpful

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Just not that into it

I pretty much listened to the previous 10 books over the last couple of week and really enjoyed them. Stark was a nice change of pace as an anti-hero and the narrator does an excellent job of capturing the mood of scenes throughout the books.

Unfortunately, as soon as the identity politics came into play, I'm out.

19 people found this helpful

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Janet “them” ruined the book and series!

I have been following the series since the beginning. I was hoping you would smarten up and sacrifice her. I won’t be buying any more in the series now that “THEY” are a character. Killed off one of the best and added an idiot!
Janet does not see herself as a girl so she has to be referred to as “they” or another pronoun. Seriously stupidest thing I have ever heard!! In my mind I pretended she had multiple personalities to get thru the stupidity. Didn’t help. Only because I had hopes she would be killed off and MC would quit acting so pitiful and latching on to such a moron! No now the moron is part of the gang. Candy is just a b*tch and you killed off the best of the gang. I’m done! You ruined a great series with “them”

19 people found this helpful

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Don't Let the Negative Reviews Scare You Off

For those of you who are wondering if you should read this book based on some of the reviews given, I understand your concern. Some of the reviews complained of a preachy tone, focused on gender identity issues. Others bemoaned a lack of plot or the direction of the storyline. I don't have a problem with fluid gender boundaries, but I also didn't want to listen to hours of lecturing on the topic. I decided to trust the author I had been reading for so long, and I bought the audiobook. I am so glad I did!

First, let me say that the whole brouhaha about identity politics is way overblown. It is briefly explained and is quickly referenced only on occasion. I don't think it took away from the reading experience at all. The number of people who were so upset about it really surprised me.

The complaints about plot and development I can understand a little; the story is not perfect, but it is entertaining and engaging, advancing the narrative of the series in a coherent manner. The new love interest is in serious need of character development, since their actions didn't provide a very coherent picture of who they are. Hopefully, this will be resolved in future books. Also, some of Stark's actions towards the end seemed rushed and needed more explanation. Overall, though, I found this book to be humorous, entertaining, and thought-provoking. The conclusion is really not that much of a cliffhanger. Seeds for future conflict are normal for a series.

What I like best about the book is how Kadrey brings Stark back to his humanity. If Stark continued his path of thoughtless destruction without any balance, he risked becoming a violent charicature, as opposed to a violent man. Some reviewers didn't like this part of the novel, but it seemed a good idea to me. For everyone who likes his nihilistic attack on the world, don't worry, it's still there.

MacLeod Andrews is excellent as always, and I don't regret my purchase. I recommend Ballistic Kiss.

13 people found this helpful

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Woke political nonsense

Identity politics, immigration politics, victim mentality, anti republican insults... Narration is on point as usual, but main stream media and Hollywood elites lecture us every day with radical left talking points. It's taken over many movies and tv shows. I don't need that woke bs in my books too. Does the author think that people reading a series about a vulgar supernatural killer are empathizing with non binary gender nonsense? Does he realize that half the country is republican, and even the left is fractured over this stuff? Way to turn your audience against you. In the military I handed this series out like candy, and I've already gotten multiple calls from veteran friends who were just as put off by this as me. You definitely lost some fan base on this one.

12 people found this helpful

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?

Thought this was another kick ass sandman but had to check author. Weird mishmash of pc, teenage angst, fu to immigration. When the story focuses on the mostly sidelined suspect characters, the story clicked on track like his other sandman books. Really disappointed that 3/4 of story was him placating the females characters ( which are usually great), pushing him into viewing people/actions in neutral terms no matter what they’re doing. The suspects he treated in his usual style with great lines as “ play Taylor Swift again, motherfucker.” Hysterical and got me through to the end. Leaves me worrying about the next book though....

11 people found this helpful