Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Review: Kill The Dead

Kill the Dead:  Sandman Slim book 2 by Richard Kadrey

My husband prefers audio books so books I like tend to get repurchased in that format.  I'm OCD about such things, so it takes a bit of willpower to switch formats, but I listened the audio version of the first book (constituting a second read) and then moved straight into this one.  MacLeod Andrews isn't perhaps my favorite reader, but he works for this series.  I also really enjoy Brilliance Audio productions in part because of the music they use to intro and end books (they did a great job on the first three books in the Iron Druid series, and I wish they'd done the whole series).

Yeah, there's a whole other thing involved in reviewing an audio book.

As for the book itself, Kadrey does an excellent job in subverting all my genre-based expectations for this series.  I appreciate that.  While some things did sort of leap out at me as obvious, I suspect it might have been a deliberate move on the author's part.  He seems to want the reader to know this big secret that the main character doesn't figure out until near the end so we can yell and scream at Stark to get his head out of his ass and See The Big Thing.  But he doesn't listen to us anymore than he listens to most of the characters in the book.

The anti-hero motif can be a tricky tightrope to walk.  Stark isn't really likeable, and he's nobody's buddy in this particular set of adventures.  I like that I can keep him at a distance.  It makes watching the things he does more enjoyable.  I read these books the same way I occasionally watch those cop-cam shows where you see the dashboard camera aimed at the idiot in the stolen car running down a major highway on four sparking rims.  You know he's going to get caught, but you feel so much smarter than him because he's fighting the inevitability of consequence.  Carthief guy made some choices, they weren't smart choices, and now it's payback time.  I'm not emotionally involved in particular -- I don't find myself getting upset or anxious ot worried.  I'm not identifying with this character at all.  I'm just enjoying the show.  It's a cool action flick of a book, with lots of over the top carnage and various main character motivational button pushing.  It isn't boring at all, but -- for me -- it isn't emotionally attaching the way other books have been.

Solid, good reading.

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