Crystal's Reviews > Kill the Dead

Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey
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Dec 17, 12

bookshelves: favorites, fantasy, urban-fantasy
Read from December 26, 2010 to December 18, 2012

Sandman Slim was a good book. Kill the Dead is an amazing book. Everything that Kadrey did right in Sandman Slim, he's amped it up to amazing proportions in Kill the Dead.

To those that said this book started off slow, I don't know what they were reading but right from the start the book is building up to something. Stark may just be chasing a vampire through LA, but you can feel that this is going to be important and it's going to reverberate throughout the whole story. This book's pacing isn't fast, throwing everything at your face, and not going slower than the zed Stark mows down with a BMW during the climax. Everything snowballs and unravels all at the same time with no real dry spots to speak of. He's very careful about setting up premises for the next book without letting that detract from the "here and now" within the book. Also, once again, Kadrey is toying with well-known mythos and making it something unique and memorable.

Naturally what makes the Sandman Slim series books stand out above others in its genre is the narration. This series has a lot of dark humor mixed in with some cynicism and existential philosophy. Stark manages to not only make the reader laugh while shaking their head and calling him an asshole, but also get them thinking. And really, it's his humor that helps you get through some of the grimmer parts of the book. But I believe the narration served a much bigger role this time around and without giving anything away, it certainly lets you know certain changes within Stark when they begin and end.

Before diving into weakspots, I will say that Kill the Dead did fix one flaw I found with Sandman Slim where I felt a better connection with the secondary characters. I feel like I got a better taste of their personalities than before. Lucifer, for example, is easily my second favorite character at this point. I'm also very pleased with the way Allegra is being fleshed out. She annoyed me in the first book, but she seems to have finally developed a personality outside of snarking on the sidelines while being completely useless. At the same time, my biggest complaint is a secondary character: Brigitte. I was a little disappointed with her role and was expecting something bigger. I'm hoping that she makes an appearance in the next book and is a little more important and steps up to the plate.

I think overall, Kadrey is becoming a stronger writer and in turn, the series is getting better. I'm not sure how many of these books will be written in the future, but I'll be interested to see how things play out. I can't recommend this series enough because it is such a well-balanced series that it's damn-near impossible to put down.
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Quotes Crystal Liked

Richard Kadrey
“Did you send candy and flowers on Valentine's Day, Wells? It's okay, you know. He was a saint.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead
tags: humor

Richard Kadrey
“Twenty percent? What am I, your waiter? I got you five vampires, not a BLT.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead
tags: humor

Richard Kadrey
“I don't want to run for anything. I want to shove this miserable cheap-ass check so far up Wells's ass he can read the routing number out the back of his eyes.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead
tags: humor

Richard Kadrey
“That sounds like the sin of pride, Marshal. Better run downstairs and let Miss December flog it out of you. Webcam it and charge by the minute. You won't ever have to take government money again.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead
tags: humor

Richard Kadrey
“I'd like to think they're staring at me because of my white-hot animal magnetism, but I'm not Elvis. I'm Lobster Boy, hear me roar.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

Richard Kadrey
“The clerk is looking at me. His expression hasn't changed. What I want to do is punch a hole in the front of the desk, reach through, grab his balls, and make him sing The Mickey Mouse Club song. But these days, I'm working on the theory that killing everyone I don't like might be counterproductive. I'm learning to use my indoor voice like a big boy, so I smile back at the clerk.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

Richard Kadrey
“The universe is a meat grinder and we're just pork in designer shoes, keeping busy so we can pretend we're not all headed for the sausage factory. Maybe I've been hallucinating this whole time and there is no Heaven and Hell. Instead of having to choose between God and the devil, maybe our only real choice comes down to link or patty?”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

Richard Kadrey
“There are two Venices I know about and one of them is a hotel in Vegas. The other is an L.A. beach where pretty girls walk their dogs while wearing as little as possible and mutant slabs of tanned, posthuman beef sip iced steroid lattes and pump iron until their pecs are the size of Volkswagens.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

Richard Kadrey
“They can talk shit about each other behind the others' backs, but when it comes down to it, money is the one true race and everyone down here is the color of greenbacks and as tall as mountains.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead

Richard Kadrey
“It doesn't matter if you and everyone else in the room are thinking it. You don't say the words. Words are weapons. They blast big bloody holes in the world. And words are bricks. Say something out loud and it starts turning solid. Say it loud enough and it becomes a wall you can't get through.”
Richard Kadrey, Kill the Dead


Reading Progress

12/27/2010 page 16
4.0% "I seriously love this man's writing style. I don't understand how people thought it starts off slow."
01/02/2011 page 31
7.0% "I think the humor in this is even better than the last book. Still incredibly hard to put down, but alas I have to sleep!"
01/02/2011 page 73
16.0% "This book is hilarious."
01/02/2011 page 109
24.0% "I adore Lucifer. I'm not even going to lie to you. I think he's becoming my second fave character (after Stark ofc)."
01/03/2011 page 139
31.0% "Zombies! Enjoying the twist of yanking out spines instead of the ye olde headshot"
01/03/2011 page 189
42.0% "Another 80 pages to go and I'll be done. I'll finish tomorrow."
01/03/2011
70.0% "Another 80 pages to go and I'll be done. I'll finish tomorrow."
12/17/2012 page 113
24.0% "I'd say I had forgotten how good this novel is, but I'd be lying. It's almost better than I remember. <3"
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