Review: Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey

August 14, 2013 3.5 stars, Book Review 13 ★★★½

Kill City Blues

Bestselling author Richard Kadrey continues his acclaimed Sandman Slim series with this high-octane fifth adventure that takes Stark into a dark and dangerous mirrorworld of LA

“The perfect escapist storyline . . . side-splittingly funny. . . . Gruesome slapstick mixed with down-and-dirty Hammett-esque mayhem and double-dealing. . . . If you’ve been hoping someone would bring the full-strength SoCal toxic waste to the urban fantasy game, then Sandman Slim is your poison.”-io9.com

James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, has managed to get out of Hell, renounce his title as the new Lucifer, and settle back into life in LA. But he’s not out of trouble yet. Somewhere along the way he misplaced the Qomrama Om Ya, a weapon from the banished older gods who are also searching for their lost power.

The hunt leads Stark to an abandoned shopping mall-a multi-story copy of LA-infested with Lurkers and wretched bottomfeeding Sub Rosa families, squatters who have formed tight tribes to guard their tiny patches of this fake LA. Somewhere in the kill zone of the former mall is a dead man with the answers Stark needs. All Stark has to do is find the dead man, get back out alive, and outrun some angry old gods-and a few killers-on his tail.

Jimmy Stark is back again in Kill City Blues for another round of ‘saving the world’.  Those of you that recently read Devil Said Bang might agree with me when I say I felt it was more like two mini books in one. With the first half being “escape from Hell” and the second being “save the world”. Aloha from hell felt partitioned in a similar fashion. But in Kill City Blues there was more follow through for one main story.

As always I love all of the pop culture references to everything in the entertainment industry. Being a big anime watcher I seriously love Candy and her gaming and anime watching. Currently tho, I’m waffling back and forth on just how much I really enjoyed this one. While the characters are still great, and you can definitely see the character growth for Stark, and even though we see a lot more of the secondary characters in Kill City Blues I didn’t quite get that  sense of closeness to them that had been there in the first few books. Stark is definitely learning more about how to be a team player but the players are almost melding together in a way that leaves them each just a tiny bit less unique.

I’m left wondering – what else could there possibly be left for Start to do in the coming books, I would hate for this to become a rinse repeat sort of series? Some of you probably have some theories already, I have my own as well which I’ll keep to myself for now. There was of course plenty of action, mystery and mayhem to keep me moving from scene to scene, but I think I’m wanting some closure at this point because there have been so many “big” catastrophes that they aren’t having as much of an impact on me anymore. Still a good addition to the series and curious to see where it will go from here.

Kill City Blues

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• An advanced uncorrected copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. Quotes are from an unpublished edition of this title and are subject to change. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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13 Responses to “Review: Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey”

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Haha! I hate when reviewers give out the details on books that are way later in a series!! What if some random reader stumbles upon it by accident and then ZOWWIE – spoilers. I figure this is vague enough for people who’ve read the others to know what I mean. Course – reading back over my review – I think I was a bit harsh =(. Have you read them?

  1. Mogsy

    I had recently finished the second book, and unfortunately did not like it as much as I did the first! I already have the audiobook for Aloha From Hell though, so I’m sure I’ll continue. Please tell me the series gets awesome again with that book 🙂
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Dragon’s Child by M.K. HumeMy Profile

  2. desiree

    i am open to all book and new one i do not care wht they are the scary one i have to read in themroing yep i get bad dream for scary book ha ha