Review: Sandman Slim

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A good read for October, I guess. I didn’t really know what this book was about at all. I’d gotten it during a free ebook Friday for B&N years and years ago. The title made it sound like it was a detective noir or something. Nope. It’s about a young adult who hung out with a bunch of bad characters and was betrayed and sent to hell. In other words, it’s a revenge story.

I like some of these like Kill Bill or East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise. This one was tough. The protagonist was not a sympathetic character. He was a jerk to everyone who tried to help him – and it made sense – he was emotionally stunted as a result of what happened to him. But he doesn’t really show any growth at all during this book. He’s more or less the same a-hole at the end of the book. That’s a shame because Kadrey has created an interesting universe for our main character to play around in.

But unlike Angel’s Ink, which has a similar universe (although different in a few key ways), I don’t have any sympathy for the main character. Angel’s Ink had a character who kept trying to do everything on his own because he wanted to spare his friends. But Sandman Slim keeps pushing everyone away because he wants to be the one to exact revenge and doesn’t want anyone in his way. The protagonist from Angel’s Ink has growth. It’s a series I want to continue while this one is not.

But maybe this book is for you? If you like misanthropic characters who are still misanthropes at the end, you might like this. And there are good action scenes, decently-witty dialog, and Slim isn’t protected by plot armor from anything other than death. Many confrontations do not go well for him. And I appreciate that. While it can be popcorn-fun every once in a while to have an invincible protagonist – I mostly outgrew that with age. I like there to be stakes even if the fact that this is part of a series means you know he won’t permanently die.

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