Monday, October 26, 2020

Ballistic Kiss (Sandman Slim, #11)Ballistic Kiss by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stark's new life -- which happens to be quite similar to his old-new life shortly after coming back from his stint in hell, is finally slowing down. He can spend a little time freaking out about doing normal things. Maybe inviting that cute doughnut girl out for a movie night with all his friends.

It's sweet.

Of course, knowing this universe, it is SO not going to last.

Even so, we do get an oddly normal noir mystery with a splash of ghosts, human sacrifices, and murderous thrill-seeking that eventually brings things back to our bloody center-line.

It's weird tho. Stark isn't CAUSING most of the hell, this time. Fortunately, he will end it.

Highly amusing. I truly love how it can still incorporate the WILD number of changes from the rest of the series and still pull off a hint of home. :)

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hollywood Dead (Sandman Slim, #10)Hollywood Dead by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, the big question is this: how many times can a man come back from Hell and still remain as fresh as a daisy?

Okay, that's a disingenuous question. And unfair.

Stark has NEVER been as fresh as a daisy and after having gone and come back from Hell THIS MANY TIMES, you might assume he smells like a swine's bunghole after a piggie has the motherload of a tummy-ache.

It doesn't help that he's dead. Mostly. I mean, walking around dead, but still dead and NOT SO FRESH.

But since this is still a classic supernatural Noir-type tale, we've got a carrot and a stick scenario, and IF ONLY HE DOES THIS ONE THING... the necromancers might give him an eau de toilette.

If only they were trustworthy.

I swear. These books devour me.

I mean, I'm literally devouring THEM, but by the same token, they're devouring me. I can't call them popcorn fiction because even I get tired of popcorn sometimes. I'm NOT getting tired of these.

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The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)The Kill Society by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We've got some big changes... again. I'm afraid to actually come right out and say it for fear of spoilers, but let's just say a hellish caravan full of refugees and crusaders are in the cards.

This shouldn't be much of a surprise if we look at the book's cover.

What is rather surprising is how much over-plot progression goes on here. The BIG story is BIG. And Stark has had better days. In fact, he's pretty damn powerless at this point. You know, other than some hellion hoodoo and some usual fighting skills. But he's as surprised as I am.

Think post-apocalyptic hellscape in an actual, you know, HELL, friendless, and getting dragged along for the ride.

The fun part is in figuring what the hell is actually going on. The war in heaven is escalating, after all.

Very fun stuff here. Bloody fun. I'm on a roll and enjoying it all.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, #8)The Perdition Score by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stark is having a bad time. He's abusing himself because he can't kill things, demons, angels, or ANYONE.

You know how it is. PTSD takes so many different forms. Some ppl withdraw, and others attack. He's one of the latter. He's going nuts without it. Of course, what is he supposed to expect after having helped Death kill a new Death, instigate a war in heaven, open up the gates of hell, and getting fired from every paid gig he's ever had because he's just *a tad* too violent?

Ah, well, OTT problems like this, including a number of seasonal trips back downtown (and I mean HELL) seems to be the name of the game.

So when angels seem to be having a drug problem and it's making the second civil war in heaven much, much worse, Stark is quite meh about it until it hits home. And then, well...

The ending is a pure muahahahahaha moment.

We have certain standards to uphold here. And eating s**t really isn't on the menu, boys.

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Friday, October 23, 2020

The King in Yellow and Other Horror StoriesThe King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Re-read 10/23/20:

I'm not going to write a normal review for these stories, even as a re-read. Instead, I'll just mention how they've already put themselves in our lives.

Ideas have a life of their own. Little hints and vague mutterings can grow into huge monstrosities. From Ambrose Bierce, the author of The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary, Carcosa is breathed to life, with idyllic scenes twisted into horrific nightmares, but Robert W. Chambers, enamored with Bierce, runs with Carcosa and the King in Yellow, writing story after story with the thread of cosmic terror, artworks that, upon reading, turns people into madmen.

The stories are interconnected and unique, uncanny, and merely brush the deeper sense of the madness that lies beneath the upper-crust and/or the bohemian/artistic lifestyles. They're all a piece of their time, too, and I get the impression that the horror is quite universal and would express itself in an infinite number of guises.

And indeed, just as Chambers ran with Bierce's idea, Lovecraft himself ran with Chambers.

The idea burrows inside our heads, too. Carcosa and the tattered King in Yellow are still alive and reaching for us from between the cracks in reality.

And after Lovecraft, us.

We are living the logical progression of these widening gyres of madness. Just pick up the paper. Check Twitter. It's all there. The song. From humble, or perhaps ancient beginnings, they're playing to us...

Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Lost Carcosa.

Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Dim Carcosa.

Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Lost Carcosa.

Original review:

I never realized until recently that Lovecraft admired and tried to emulate a few of this author's horror feel, that his stories are the godfather of the Cthulhu mythos. Strangely enough, the prose is fluid and compelling in a way that Lovecraft couldn't match. Of course, it isn't Lovecraftian prose, but the weight of the mythos that draws so many fans, but it was a pure delight to see a spark that lit the fire for generations of horror fans around the world.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim, #7)Killing Pretty by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, get your black hoodoo knives out, folks, and step right up for another night of Stab Death Dead, you Nazi freaks, where you, too, can stay alive forever on a technicality because Death isn't around any longer to pick up your soul from your broken body.

Kinda sounds like a rehash of an old Piers Anthony book, doesn't it? But never you mind. Death is still kinda Death. Stark doesn't get roped into the job. Indeed, I really liked the actual poor Death stuck in a rotting corpse without his heart, watching old Disney movies, getting a slice of life (or at least doughnuts and opioids), and I thought he would be a FINE addition to the family.

Death always gets a bad rap unless you're Gaiman, and then it's total crush territory. Don't get me started on Pratchett. Kadrey's Death is mellow cool.

Let's put this novel in perspective, shall we? It's FUN. It's fun like all of the other Sandman Slim novels. Total popcorn fiction. It's also head and shoulders above MOST similar UF. I won't say it's the best of the bunch, but it was sufficiently Supernatural-like to make me chortle and guffaw and this is a GOOD thing.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Getaway God (Sandman Slim, #6)The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think we've settled into a nice, humorous, extremely bloody routine. Not all routines are bad, of course. Some just grab you by the throat, spill all your secrets upon the ground, and then dance in a river of entrails while they laugh about gods, devils, and outsiders.

This happens to be one of those routines.

I do note one little detail, however. Our favorite Nephilim seems to be losing all his most powerful toys. Pretty soon he's going to be one DE-powered freak.

Well, to be fair, it seems like every supernatural baddie in LA and the cosmos is headed in the same direction. Call it an economic downturn.

Am I still having a ton of fun?

Yep. Popcorn UF all the way, baby.

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