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Book Review

Book Cover

Sandman Slim
Book 5
Kill City Blues


Author: Richard Kadrey
Publisher: Harper Voyager
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 744606 3
Publication Date: 17 July 2014

James Stark, AKA Sandman Slim has been to hell and back, literally. Born a Nephilim, half angel half human, the illegitimate child of Uriel, he is shunned as an abomination by both heaven and hell. Having crawled out of hell, having been forced to fight in its arenas, Stark has spent time as Lucifer, where he discovered that God is not only fractured into a number of pieces, but that God had tricked the old Gods, banishing them from this reality, the only problem is that they want back in and they are really pissed. Only the Qomrama Om Ya, the god killer, stands a chance of defending this reality, problem is Stark no longer possess it...

Kill City Blues (383 pages) is the fifth book in the Sandman Slim series, written by Richard Kadrey now released as a paperback. The story continues the urban fantasy series with another story told with wit and grit.

Where the start of the series consisted of self-contained books, the success of the series has meant that the series has now developed an on-going arc. This is a good thing as it indicated that Kadrey must be planning many more Sandman Slim books and that can only be a good thing.

Having fought, just one aspect of the old gods, in Devil Said Bang, Stark realises that should they return in full, it would mean the end of reality. You would think that an army could be gathered, but both heaven and hell are in disarray, with different aspects of God running both, so it’s down to Stark to find the god killer before it’s too late. His quest takes him to Kill City Blues, one of the most dangerous places on Earth, a place where even the power of Sandman Slim may fail.

When the series started, it was the irreverent humour, the violence and the fantasy noirish setting which sold the stories, but the last two books are taking the series into a new direction. One of the strengths of the series is the world building. Kadrey has created a world which all his readers would recognise, but upon this initial structure he has created a rich, complex playroom for his characters to play in and his readers to enjoy.

If the book has a fault it’s that it seemed too short, this is only because once started your unlikely to put the book down until you’ve finished and once finished your left with the disappointment that the story didn’t just go on and on.

If you’re looking for a slice of dark urban fantasy I suggest you get the whole series, you’ll read each book with a smile on your face.


Charles Packer

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