Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
Title: Sandman Slim
Author: Richard Kadrey
Category: Urban Fantasy
James Stark (internal dialog): The smell of the burned bodies makes some of the Vigil crew gag. I smelled enough of it Downtown that it's familiar and even sort of comforting. I really hope there aren't any mind readers with us.
My Rating: ★★★★★
When I first started this book, it reminded me a lot of the movie The Crow, but with demons and magic. Thankfully, it didn't rehash that plot line, although there were similarities. Guy comes back from the dead (or, in this case, Hell) looking for vengeance for himself and his girlfriend. But Sandman Slim quickly spirals away from the movie's straightforward plot. The main character is unique, and I enjoyed reading from his point of view. James Stark is no hero. He's been through Hell (literally), and doesn't give a damn about anything but his revenge. Through the course of the book, he grows and begins caring again … somewhat. He's a far cry from many of the protagonists I've read recently. The story is dark urban fantasy at its best, gritty and imaginative.
Uniqueness. The story and its protagonist are wonderful new additions to a genre that can get repetitive. Although, the beginning did remind me of The Crow, it rapidly broke new ground, following its own path. And what an enjoyable path it was.
For an urban fantasy, Sandman Slim stayed very believable. Oh, there was magic, angels and demons, but everything worked within its own rules, and Kadrey painted his world in such detail that I felt as if I were living it. I loved all the minutia he added.
The characters, not just Stark, all had their own quirks and personalities. I'm looking forward to seeing where everyone will fit in with each other in future books.
Sandman Slim, like most urban fantasies I've read, is told from first person point of view. However, Stark's internal dialog can be hard to follow sometimes. He would enter a room, and then talk about being on the floor. A paragraph or so later, he would explain how someone knocked him down. It got confusing at times.
I really enjoyed Sandman Slim, and recommend it to most anyone who wants an in-depth dark urban fantasy, with one stipulation. There are parts that might offend the very religious. It's not very complimentary to either side of the Heaven/Hell conflict. Just a warning.
Posted by Lisa M. Hicks at 12:20 PM