Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey


By Richard Kadrey

  • Series: Sandman Slim Series, #1
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Publication date: July 31, 2012
  • Genre:  Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
  • ISBN-13: 9780061714351

Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you’re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Lost Angeles.

Now Stark’s back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you’d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

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Hello my gorgeous book dragons. Today I bring you Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. I’ve had this book for exactly a year sitting in one of my shelves. I say exactly a year because I found the receipt in the middle of the book. Do you guys do that too? Sometimes I feel guilty because I just leave books there for a year or two before reading them. A lot like a neglectful mother. I’m so sorry books. I will read you.

This story follows James Stark (no relation to Tony Stark, I checked) after he escapes hell, having been there for 11 years. He literally pops out of a garbage can in an LA cemetery, because where else would hell’s backdoor lead to? Exactly.  He’s a complicated man that makes me want to punch him in the face and soothingly pat his shoulder. Because if I try to hug him he’d probably punch me in the face. This face is not for punching.

I had such a hard time deciding whether I liked him or not. Stark (he will not tolerate being called Jimmy or James, much less Sandman Slim) is exactly how I would expect a person to be after spending 11 years fighting in hell and being a Hellion hitman: all hard edges and no fudges given. That’s not entirely true, he gives little fudges but hides them really well because it’ll ruin his rep if he doesn’t. He killed most of Lucifer’s lieutenants, not mention his own boss, Stark is not to be messed with. This dude is a BAMF.  I wished he would accept the fact that he has friends and that honestly care about him, even if he doesn’t care about himself too much. He’s so blinded by his desire for revenge that he has very little interest in anything else. Even if it means the whole world’s well being.

Stark is the poster boy for reluctant hero.

The sass! Oh my gods, the sass. I am about 99.99% this man has alcohol, sarcasm and comic book reference as his genetic makeup. There doesn’t seem to be a page where he’s not telling someone off and I loved it. Could it be that I might have developed a crush on Stark? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just admiration for being a BAMF.

I give this book Four Tacos out of the Taco Scale of Awesome. All of the characters in this book are fascinating and nothing is black and white. It’s so hard to pick sides and know who to cheer for because everyone has ulterior motives. I enjoyed Stark’s journey from pure revenge and self-hate to unwilling heroic-ish acts and still enveloped in an unhealthy dose of self-hate. A lot.

I recommend this book if you’re even a little bit like me and enjoy watching broken people unwillingly try to fix themselves.

Until next time. This is Mon, over and out.

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