One of my absolute favorite fictional characters is James “Sandman Slim” Stark. The just amazingly insane escapades that Mr. Kadrey has put ol’ Jimmy through over the years is just gargantuan.
I’m not sure how I messed up and missed the release of four books, but now I get the opportunity to motor through the rest of the series all in one fell swoop.
In the Kill Society, Stark finds himself deposited by his old buddy Death back into a far reaching part of the Tenebrae. Almost instantly he is set upon by what seems to be a nomadic caravan who has more questions that Stark has answers. When dragged before the mysterious Magistrate who leads the caravan, Stark comes upon a very familiar face: Father Traven.
The Magistrate is fascinated by Stark (who is going by a false name so this group doesn’t know he’s Sandman Slim) and keeps him on to help with a mysterious plan that he has.
Very quickly, Stark finds himself teamed up with the preferred elite of this group, which he hilariously calls the Dog Pack.
Working with the Dog Pack, Stark begins to find out more and more bits of information about what the Magistrate is trying to achieve. The rest I shall leave for you to find out.
Per usual, Mr. Kadrey excels at setting up a remarkable description of the landscapes and challenges of his version of Hell. Worldbuilding is definitely a forte of his. The Kill Society had a very large cast of characters that were executed perfectly with individual voices and quirks. This is nothing new in the Sandman Slim universe, but it is very refreshing in its consistency.
This is the type of fun reading that I really really appreciate as a book lover and constant story consumer. I don’t have to rack my brain reading them, but the scratch every itch I love about gritty urban fantasy. Watching the way that Sandman Slim has developed over all these years has been just fantastic, and, while Stark’s attitude is slowly shifting away from just being an evil bastard, there is still all of that aggression and scathing wit that makes him such a delightful character to read. I cannot wait to jump into book number ten!