Audie Award Finalist, Fantasy, 2014
Another day, another apocalypse....
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 L.A. But he also lost the Qomrama Om Ya, an all-powerful weapon from the banished older gods. Older gods who are returning and searching for their lost power.
The hunt leads Stark to an abandoned shopping mall - a global shopping paradise infested with Lurkers and wretched bottom-feeding Sub Rosa families, squatters who have formed tight tribes to guard their tiny patches of retail wasteland. Somewhere in this kill zone is a dead man with the answers Stark needs. All Stark has to do is find the dead man, recover the artifact, and outwit and outrun the angry old gods - and natural-born killers - on his tail.
But not even Sandman Slim is infallible, and any mistakes will cost him dearly.
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The stories are good and the narrartor is excellent. The best thing about the book and the series as a whole is how well the author captured the whole "punk" vibe. This is definitely cyberpunk, but with a supernatural angle instead. maybe I should call it "Superunk" or something. This book and series is just one of those times when you hit the perfect combination of book and narrator. I actually enjoyed listening to the book more than reading it.
It is comparable to the other books in the series, although the main character is starting to grow up a bit. Overall, there isn't much else to compare it to as it is a unique take on the genre.
Casabian. The interaction and sheer attitude the narrator gives to the character make the portions where Casabian shows up steal the scenes he is in.
Samael. How many times do you get to go to dinner with the devil (former)? Although, I am sure he would get me drunk, roll me and then leave me with the check.
If you are heavily religious (Christian) you might be offended by the content of the series and it's attitude towards God, the Devil, heaven and hell. It definitely comes from a strong Gnostic point of view. honestly why are you still reading this? Get the book already...
Bete Noire Powered Ride Thru Carnivale a La Stark
After u read the 1st Sandman Slim book u've decided whether u hate it or find it blasphemously funny & entertaining. I'd recommend it to anyone whose read the books & liked them or are looking for fresh, dark fun thru the mind of a madman who is slowly trying to become sane.
I was jumping between this book & another because the release dates were so close, but subject wise the stories were completely diff. so going back n forth was not a problem.
I liked these books because it straddles many genre's & touches morality often: Fantasy, thriller/semi-mystery (more similar to its a mystery about how 'Stark/Slim' will escape various wild situations or solve problems like wars between angels, archangels, god's, sub-rosa - human magic users, & mere mortals), comedy, & in a wicked sense basic theology. The theological portions will insult & turn off 'religious' people, but don't get me started on organized religion... the amount of people that have died in the name of any god is disgusting but the Sandman Slim books aren't about being 'P.C.' & he openly gives the opinion that many people probably believe in some degree deep down inside but are too ashamed to articulate. That's the best thing about the Sandman... obv. not everything, but there are many thoughts he openly addresses that I think people are not willing to admit they feel the same way or wonder the same things about the thing we call religion... notice I did not use the word spirituality, that's a diff. word all together
He is as excellent narrator & brings all the characters life, as another reviewer mentioned Casabian is an excellent character narrated & brings it more to life than if I just read it... it might sound weird but he almost sounds like Eminem reading me a book, ha.
The conversation Stark has with Satan over coffee & donuts (a human made pastry that is depicted as a food product the devil regrets never thinking up lol). Its great how it comes to pass that they are able to sit & talk & never disappoints in comedy, ex. hey I remembered when person X sold me their soul for that promotion, as said person is seen walking down the sidewalk across the street
Stark or Sandman Slim (I don't know if I can classify him as completely a protagonist or an antagonist posing as an unwilling "hero") who is battling moral dilemma's & trying his best to be a better 'person' (he's part-human) but has a reputation that precedes him everywhere he goes & he also has a purely brutality honest outlook on his value of life & the sets of principles that guide him (since he was a lone human-like creature ever to survive hell which obv. has changed him), his 'love' for 'candy' a girl who happens to be a creature more viscous than a vampire & importantly give balance to a weight within Stark that tends to fall on the side of destruction now, wonder why later. Stark & his band of misfits from past books all come together to retrieve a religious relic that will help the world from being destroyed by something else than god... which I found comical let alone its kinda funny how god the devil & good vs. evil is explained & represented in the book, no spoilers for anyone who hadn't read any of the books but its safe to say there is a logical reason god doesn't directly help humans in everyday events that make all people wonder why 'horrible things happen to nice people.' The series is a good read if u are not easily insulted, religiously pious,