It seems that in the rebalancing of having a part time job, this blog is sort of slipping the way of reviewy things. That'll get remedied soon. After jumping back in the saddle with my first complete novel, The Rider, to try and finish a second draft, the whole being a writer thing is starting to move again, and the ideas are starting to flow. I'll post about that process here soon. Until then, here's the book I just finished:
Sandman Slim - Richard Kadrey
That's Richard Kadrey. That's Sandman Slim. It's Philip Marlowe and the Book of Revelations. It's hard boiled old testament. It's a lot of pent up anger. It's bristling with excitement. It's every snappy one-liner and wry aside you wish you could've had in the moment, but you can't. It's pulp, and it's a helluva good ride.
Eleven years ago Stark was thrown in hell by some friends of his, magicians (not wizards, we're not fucking Harry Potter). He's back. He's pulled himself up from the pit, and all he wants is a little revenge. He wants to put a boot through the face of all the guys who fucked him over, and he's willing to steal, and cheat, and con everyone who will get in his way of achieving that goal. And when he shows up, the ball gets rolling. Right from the very first page. Kadrey wastes no time with long explanations, or drawn out world-building asides. "It's like it was designed and built specifically for vampires. For all I know, it was. Yes, there are vampires. Try to keep up."
That the book moves with the brisk pace of its hero is both a blessing and a curse. I tore through the book. It was one of the fastest reads I've done in a while. The problem inherent with it is that sometimes its too fast. A whole heist scene, which could've lasted the better portion of another book breezes by in a way that almost makes it seem like an unnecessary scene other than to push the plot on by. But it's ok, because a couple pages later, I'm back in the story, running to stay shoulder to shoulder with Stark, wondering what he's going to do next, how he's going to hurt someone else. It's great fun.
This is the book I wish I could write. This is the kind of tantalizing story that makes people want more. Its irreverent, and its "fuck you" attitude means it doesn't care if you don't like it, and it doesn't care if you do like it, it just wants to do its thing. And the thing it does is exciting.