So I finished book two of the Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey. Read my review of book one here. Again MacLeod Andrews does a wonderful job of reading this book to me. It’s like a bedtime story mom would tell me. If mom did a great Czech porn star voice and read me nightmares. The way he reads the words Richard Kadrey writes is amazing. I feel I should make a confession here about how I listen to these audio books because Kenric has given me shit about this. I listen to them on Audible and I listen at 1.5x speed. The way Audible handles this is to just speed up the rate in which the words are said but not the pitch of the voice, so the voices sound the same but are just…faster. He tells me that I’m “ruining the performance of the audio book” or some bullshit. I say “but I’m listening to a 15 hour audio book in 10 hours, it’s amazing!”. So take of that what you will.
Ok, moving on back to the review (which is more like a my thoughts on this blog post, but whatever).
This book deals with everyones favorite type of monster, mislead stereo types of porn stars. I mean really, they are just regular people like you and me. The only real difference is they get paid to do all the disgusting things we do in our bedrooms. If someone would pay me to do those things, oh how my life would change! Mostly because I would need to find that niche market for overweight fat guys with a super hot girl (my wife is smoking hot).
Ok ok, that last paragraph was just because I wanted to mention how beautiful my wife is. In reality that’s not the monster we fight in this book (though Kadrey does play with the dichotomy of what the world views adult films stars as). In reality when you read the book it’s about Stark taking on the world of Zombies. They don’t exactly call them that, they have little pet names for them, but that’s what they are. They are drifters, zeds, and some are Savants. “What’s a Savant?” Well, it’s a drifter that is essentially human, but happens to be in the market to eat you. Remember that term, it becomes important later in the story.
To give you the tl;dr version of this book half way through this post, Stark fights zombies, Lucifer may be his dad, and Stark sleeps with an adult film star Kasabian is in love with.
Now let’s dissect that!
Stark fights zombies – It’s important to know that Kadrey is way better about placing things in the correct order when you read so there is a reveal and you go “ah ha!” than I am. I mean, I could edit up and fix it now but I’m already here. Stark opens this book taking out a Vampire girl. She’s all “mommy doesn’t love me! so I did this to be a bitch!” or something like that and he kills her, and all the rest of the vampires and in doing so acquires a broach. Or a belt buckle. Or something like that with a symbol on it. It’s important, I just can’t remember what they called it (some fan I am. I could look it up, but why? Just read the book!).
Fast forward to him and Brigitte getting it on. She’s the Czech adult film star who is more than meets the eye (yes, she’s a Transformer). She is a hunter of Drifters, her family has done it for a while and it’s totally the reason she’s in the same place as Stark. At first I was wondering what help she would be, but without giving away anything good she’s a pretty cool. She may also have something unfortunate happen to her.
There is the whole subplot that I believe is setting up future books where Stark is a bodyguard for Lucifer cause he’s injured and Mason is running amuck in hell trying to take over. Now at this point I’ve only read the first two books, but I suspect that there will be plot points of Lucifer being weak and Mason’s revolt in hell to try and be the new leader. Lucifer tries to get Stark (in a round about way) to be the new ruler of hell but Stark doesn’t want it. We’ll see how that plays out, Lucifer usually get’s what he wants.
I’m not good at reviews. As Kenric pointed out this is more of a book report. Cause really I’m just giving you snippets of what I liked but not really the overall story cause, well, that’s not how I write. I also want you to go read or listen to the book because I think it’s amazing.
Ultimately I would say that I enjoyed this one more than the first one. Why? Well, easy, I understood the characters more in this one. The first one I got through so fast because we needed to do a review of the book for the podcast (which led to us talking with Richard Kadrey)that I feel like I missed some stuff and should really go back and re-read it. This time I felt like after the first few chapters I knew who the characters were since I had the first book under my belt and I was listening more intently to the audio book. If you’ve read the first one and not this one, what’s wrong with you? If you haven’t read any of them then you should pick one up and check it out. No matter what you like I think this series is worth reading, at least to understand the character of James Stark.
I give this book 4 Kasabian neck shits out of 5.