What do you do after you’ve escaped Hell, gone back, uncovered the true nature of God, and then managed to become the new Lucifer?
Well, if you’re James Stark, you have to figure out how to run Hell while also trying to get back out of it... again. Plus there’s the small matter of surviving. Because everyone in Heaven, Hell, and in between wants to be the fastest gun in the universe, and the best way to do so is to take down Lucifer, a.k.a. James Stark.
And it’s not like being in L.A. is any better — a serial-killer ghost is running wild and Stark’s angelic alter ego is hiding among the lost days of time with a secret cabal who can rewrite reality. Starting to care for people and life again is a real bitch for a stone-cold killer.
©2012 Richard Kadrey (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Only 3 Stars, but Still Wonderful Series"
I am still a huge fan of this well-written, engaging, fast-paced series, but this book is a little bit weaker than the previous installments.
Some other reviewers said it best, but there are some plot developments that have too many loopholes and some characters such as the Dreamers, that really stretched any believability.
Especially since I live in Los Angeles, I love all the locations and happenings in this city. And I adore all the wonderful references to movies, books and social media.
But no review is worth anything without a standing ovation to the narrator, MacLeod Andrews, who makes the character come alive.
"Still amusing but more contrived"
This installment in the series still has a lot of what made the first book engaging, in its style, irreverence, and brutality but it has slid pretty far down the hill as far as the quality of writing. The plot is riddled with irrational actions and unconvincing twists that just aren't believable, even in the fantasy universe. Characters repeatedly display incredible power when they're using it to impress but then fail to use it in a fight for their life. Stark continues to walk into every trap imaginable without a thought in his pretty little head and ends up helpless before his enemies, not because of a fiendishly clever and devious deception on the villain's part but because Stark's an idiot. This makes it very difficult to respect the protagonist. There is also some completely ludicrous business with "dreamers" that makes absolutely no sense and frustrated me significantly.
That said, there are interesting developments. His new job as Lucifer is pretty amusing and kicks up a lot of awkward situations. The morality of God, Samael, and everyone else continues to fall further into the gray territory. Stark himself does some pretty nasty stuff but it's always warranted and I still consider him to be a decent fellow in a series of bad situations. Most of the previous books' characters reappear in this one and see about as much limelight as usual. It's Stark's show but, as always, he's just stumbling down the road laid out by his enemies and coming through by blind luck and the help of his friends.
The narrator was fantastic, as always. He really makes Stark's character come alive with the gruff tone and devil-may-care (pun intended) attitude.
I only rate this one as average quality but I'll continue on to the 5th book because I enjoy the universe and I'm interested in seeing if he gets God's job next :p
"Sandman Slim just keeps getting better!!"
I love sandman slim! MacLeod Andrews has got to be one of the best narrators Ive ever heard. The different voices that he gives to each character amazes me. I think I am in love with him!!
Richard Kadrey what can I say. His writting just keeps getting better. Book 4 is probably my favourite of the Sandman Slim stories. Its a bit darker (if possible) than the rest.
Top job and a 5 star read!!
""I've seen how the sausage is made...""
Sandman Slim has become a toothpick of his former self and he's jumped several sharks along the way. I was disappointed with the last book, saw several positive reviews for this one, was bored and in a forgiving mood.
Damned if I do that again!
MacLeod Andrews saves this hot mess, as usual. There are some great one-liners, but I think Kadrey has a machine to churn those out (or people just send their best to him via Twitter). Even the best, favorite characters get sent backfield on this one.
Implausible situations (considering the context), convenient superpowers, an "unending", you never actually get the sense that Stark is ever in any real danger, so why bother, and you're just kinda sick of him after the first page. There are several points in the story that caused my eyes to roll and think "well, THAT was convenient...what handy thing happens next?"
Contrived...yep, that's the word I was looking for.
Ah well. Should have known better!
"New Lucifer is in town!!!!"
The author made some interesting choices in this book.
But the plot is great narration is excellent and you have to listen for it!!!!!
"Solid but lacking something..."
This is a solid addition to the series. However the story was less interesting than the first two books. It's almost like Mr. Kadrey wrote himself into a corner with the ending to book 2, and this story is how he gets Sandman Slim out of said corner. The book suffers because of this. It was still a fun listen though and I'm hoping the rest of the series lives up to the expectations set by the first two books.
"Sympathy for the Devil"
Yes, the audio is better than the print version as the narrarator does such a good job.
I can't really think of anything similar. This is a cross between urban fantasy and cyberpunk. Great punk sensibilities in an urban fantasy setting. The closest might be Simon Green's Nightside sereies but without all the self-bluster.
The scenes where Stark deals with the child ghost.
Heck I would listen to the whole series in one setting if I had the time and stamina.
This is a great series. This could have been the finale to the series if the author wanted as it closes most issues out while still leaving enough unasnswered to keep the series going.
"Incredible! I want MORE!"
read them in order as this is book 4 - so good I will go back and listen to them all again. Keep a pen and pad close as you will want to write down some of the really funny lines!!
like "Hell is circus run by mental patients. Heaven’s a gated community where we’re the bastard step-kids the real kids hate. Daddy’s little mistake." and "… couldn't have gotten me more confused if he'd pumped me full of LSD and tossed me in a spinning mirrored room full of rats" and some are really thoughtful like "It doesn't matter if you and everyone else in the room are thinking it. You don't say the words. Words are weapons. They blast big bloody holes in the world. And words are bricks. Say something out loud and it starts turning solid. Say it loud enough and it becomes a wall you can't get through."
"Not the best Sandman Slim book, but it was ok."
To me this wasn't the best Sandman Slim book, the beginning was a bit slow. It was a lot of Stark complaining about being the new Satan and him having to watch his back. It wasn't until he got top side when it got to be interesting, a lot of old characters and some good old Sandman Slim fun.
I assume by the time most people make it to the 4th installment of a series they are invested and are going to give it a 4-5 star rating, for myself this is also true; however, this book was just not good enough to bring me back. A good series should be like a chain, each link needs to be strong enough to draw me further into an ever expanding story and world.
The characters in this series never made me feel anything more then "meh", bland tough guy nonsense and little else.
Skip it and read something by Dresden Files or Iron Druid instead.
"Brutal dark and hilarious"
I love this series and RK pulls it out of the bag again, do not start here I would recommend you read the first three books first, though there is some recapping, if you have not met James Stark before your in for a treat.
Stark is stuck in hell, his angelic half having taken the key to the 13 doors, as the new Lucifer Stark does a very poor job of it, finding the job monotonous, paperwork is just not his thing, the only excitement is that everyone is trying to kill him, both upstairs and down.
I love the intricate world, story-line, full rounded characters, the snarky don't give a bleep attitude had me laughing out loud again. Dark and gritty this series follows it's own rules and agenda standing alone which is rare these days.
Superb perfomance by Macleod Andrews
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