Readers who are fans of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series who are expecting something as dark and gritty as that wonderful series will probably beReaders who are fans of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series who are expecting something as dark and gritty as that wonderful series will probably be disappointed by Dead Set. However, readers who are looking for a realistic portrayal of a teenage girl in turmoil, who is a heroine you can definitely cheer for, will find a lot to enjoy in this quick and evocative volume.
I did not know that it marketed as Young Adult, but I figured out that it clearly was YA as the story unfolded. It's something that I know a lot of my friends would have LOVED when we were part of the Young Adult market, but If you're expecting something a little darker than we typically experience in YA, you should probably know that going into it to modulate your expectations.
Some parts are a little exposition-y, and we occasionally get ahead of the characters as the plot develops. The first half is stellar, and the second half is a a little clunky in places (lots of goodbyes, lots of people getting separated and then finding each other again) but overall it's a solid story and an enjoyable read. Like I said, it's YA, so the things that I frowned at as a 41 year old reader are things I wouldn't have noticed at all when I was younger.
Another reviewer here compared this to something that would happen if Gaiman and Palahniuk had a book baby, and I certainly got a lot of that. Someone else said it would make a great Miyazaki film, and I couldn't agree more.
I highly recommend this to any young readers who enjoy dark fantasy....more
I loved Sandman Slim so much, I picked this up the instant I finished it, and did not put it down until I had finished it. (In fact, I read it so quicI loved Sandman Slim so much, I picked this up the instant I finished it, and did not put it down until I had finished it. (In fact, I read it so quickly, I didn't have a chance to put an entry here and track progress. I devoured it in 3 or 4 days.)
Kill the Dead doesn't exactly pick up where Sandman Slim left off. Instead, it's a while later, and we get to see what Stark's been doing since we last saw him. Richard Kadrey weaves an even more sinister and complex -- but ultimately satisfying -- story this time around ... and there are zombies.
If you enjoyed Sandman Slim, I think you'll be glad you read Kill the Dead. It has all the dark urban fantasy elements, and is even more of a classic noir tale than its predecessor....more
Huston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.
I liked the first half of the book betterHuston brings his signature noir style to a dark, urban fantasy Manhattan where the protagonist is a vampire.
I liked the first half of the book better than the second, mostly because I found one of the characters (a teenage girl) speaking in a voice that didn't sound as authentic as the rest of Huston's characters. Everything else in the book is so well-crafted and so interesting, it was very jarring to me.
I wasn't surprised very often, maybe because I read so much Huston I can sense when things are being set up. This didn't bother me at all, though, because I found Joe Pitt such an incredibly compelling character, even if he's no Henry Thompson (an unfair comparison, but since I'm such a fan of Huston's other works, it's one I can't help but make.)
It's imperfect, but I still felt it was time well-spent, and a welcome reintroduction (for me) not only to vampire novels, but to dark urban fantasy, as well....more