Fangs for the Fantasy's Reviews > Kill the Dead

Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey
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Oct 08, 11

it was ok
Read in October, 2011

Kill the Dead is the second book in the Sandman Slim novels. You can find the review for the first book, Sandman Slim here. As with the first book, Kill the Dead involves Angels and Demons but this time the threat the walking dead, otherwise known as various types of zombies. The problem however is that the reader is not really made aware the the zombies are indeed the "big bad" in this book until Stark suddenly had to deal with them.

Unlike Sandman Slim, Kill the dead, is really quite disorganized. The plot just seems to float around while Stark has interactions with various supernatural beings. Elements are introduced that really go nowhere and at times the story is really hard to follow. The cast of characters is actually very large, making it difficult to remember the significance of each person.

Even with all of the aforementioned issues, perhaps the greatest downfall is the constant use of ableist language throughout the book. Kadrey had no problem having his characters call each other retard. The disabled community has made a concerted effort to get people to recognize that retard used as a pejorative is ableist and wrong and yet here Kadrey is, littering his text with this word. If this were the only example it would be bad but unfortunately, Kill the Dead is like a primer in how to fit ableism into a text.

In the first novel we learned that Stark is a nephilim. When Lucifer appears and hires him to be a bodyguard, the weak context is enough for the reader to question if, Stark is Lucifer's son. Why else would the fallen angel require a bodyguard. It turns out that Stark is not a chip off the old block, merely the man that Lucifer has chosen to take his place. Lucifer it seems wants to return back to heaven. This means that both the earth and hell well be in jeopardy without his leadership.

All of this is clearly a set up for the next book, Aloha From Hell which is due out, October 18th. Perhaps that this explains why Kill the Dead seemed so disorganized. Perhaps, Kadrey was laying the groundwork for the next book in the series. Stark has yet to face Mason his arch nemesis and the fact that Lucifer wants Stark to take over hell, puts them on a collision course. Stark did turn down the job, however he cannot avenge the death of his girlfriend without confronting Mason.

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