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The Grand Dark

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  20 reviews
From the bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series, a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built off the insurgent tradition of China Mieville and M. John Harrison—a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.

The Great War is over. The city of Lower Pr
ebook, 432 pages
Expected publication: June 11th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Calling this a DNF @ page 97. The cover is gorgeous, and the idea is really clever and intriguing, but I found the pacing to be far too slow, and I see I'm not the only early reviewer to feel this way so far. I think this will be a great book for the right reader, and I hope those looking for a slow burning stand-alone adult fantasy will give The Grand Dark a try for themselves.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Kadrey's The Grand Dark is an expedition into a world of fantasy very different from sword-battling rascals and pirate conquests. Think more Kafka meets Orwell meets Germanic Steampunk. First, of all, the world created in this novel is at once sort of familiar, but in other respects, unique, different, odd. The setting is dreary, coal-fired smoke-filled, war-ruined City of Lower Proszawa following a Great War that left Upper Proszawa a world of desolation, ruin, and plague.

The place names and w
May 02, 2019 added it
Shelves: discarded-shelf
The premise sounded so great I wanted to enjoy this book, but I found out I couldn't care less for the characters or how the story moved. The pace of it was off for me, but I can't quite put my finger on "why". I just felt lost inside the story, like I was missing a bit more of world building or situating myself inside the story, but neither it or the characters caught my interest.
Emily Lind
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a very cool thing when one of your favorite authors goes outside of their normal style and then absolutely kills it. That's what has happened with The Grand Dark. Sandman Slim was the first book of Kadrey's that I read and I've gone on to devour all his others novels. The Grand Dark is a different beast for him, but showcases all of his talents when it comes to world-building and creating characters that you root for (and more importantly, care for). The Grand Dark works as a stand-alone no ...more
I received this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Like many others, Sandman Slim is one of my favorite series. Also like many others, I struggled with this one. It's slow and plodding, and it is quite a slog wait for the story develop. I guess I'm used to the faster pace of Sandman Slim.

This was by no means a bad book. The writing was quite descriptive and it places the reader right in the midst of this dreary, dank, and dirty world the author has created. I may even go back and re
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I so wanted to like The Grand Dark, but it didn't work out that way. This is a seriously slow going story, and the pace caused disinterest for me. I read and skimmed some because I could not connect with this story. Unfortunately, this one is a miss. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Caitlyn Warren
May 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tired....I picked this up a few times trying to get through the pacing of this book. As everyone can see the cover is beautiful and the concept is interesting. It's just a very slowly paced book and because of that I just can't really get into it. I liked the articles and entries between the chapters giving history and I'm sure there are people who will love this story. I just couldn't get into it unfortunately.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The world building is beautifully and cleverly done in this novel. The insertion of news articles, diary entries and the like between the chapters of the narrative is a great way of giving the reader some history of the city and the world without boring them. The grimy atmosphere the whole novel has sets just the right tone.
The problem I found was the pacing. The plot takes much too long to start and nothing that happens to the protagonist for the first 2/3s of the novel is really all that inte
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Largo Moorden is a bike messenger in the grimy city of Lower Proszawa in the aftermath of The Great War. By day, Largo is meek, obsequious, determined to cycle as far below the radar as possible -- a requisite skill in a paranoid world of feckless bureaucrats, strong-arm police, all-knowing secret service, scheming industrialists, and the like. But by night, Largo inhabits the hedonistic drug-addled world of his lover, a star actress in the theater of the title, The Grand Dark.

Largo is an Italia
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was... okay.

I usually try and be more descriptive (or more verbose) with my reviews, but I'm finding it difficult. I liked the Grand Dark, but I didn't love it. Something about it just didn't work for me, though I finished the book and found it entertaining. Kadrey is a good writer, and I enjoyed his Sandman Slim series immensely. I see echoes of it within this- good prose, a sense of humor, characters who have bitten off more than they can chew.

Here were my two main issues-

1. Pacing
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chad Cunningham
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim novels, so I was looking forward to reading this book. I got a copy from NetGalley and dug in.

This is a bit of a departure in style and tone from the author’s usual work. Very reminiscent of China Mievelle’s work, The Grand Dark is a brooding look at a dystopian steampunk society.

The world building is top notch and the main character- a drug addicted bike messenger- makes for a good point of view character. The writing is assured and flows nicely.

I enjoyed
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Certainly Kadrey’s best work to date. I’m a huge Sandman Slim fan, but this novel takes Kadrey to an entirely new level.
Dark, violent, grimy, the world Kadrey introduces us to is textured and layered and beautiful in its gruesome way.
Shoshana G
Mar 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I got this from NetGalley and I really enjoy the Sandman Slim books, but I gave up on this. I love world building, but all I was getting out of this book was descriptions of drugs. Nothing was sticking with me and I had no desire to keep reading. Oh well.
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stand-alone, noirish fantasy thriller from the author of popular ‘Sandman Slim’ series.
Finley Turner
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you find yourself in a reading lull. Eventually a good book will pull you right out of it and make you remember why you loved reading in the first place. This book did just that for me, and for the first time in a while, I found myself in a post-book depression where I wanted to dive back into the world. The invented world in this book is so beautifully created. Despite the culture of the country being quite fantastical, it is so well written that it becomes believable and you find you ...more
Kadrey has always had an edge. I haven't managed to catch up on his back catalog, but even in his Sandman Slim and Coop Mysteries (more the former) there lies an undercurrent of pervasive evil. He takes that insidious darkness and ramps up his writing to literary levels, creating a world in the lull between two wars where those who aren't caught up in the machine are actively trying to break it.

If you're looking for his usual humor you won't find it here. Instead you'll find a steampunk dystopi
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Richard Kadrey is a writer and freelance photographer living in San Francisco, best known for his Sandman Slim novels. His newest novels are The Everything Box, released April 19, 2016 and The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, #8), released on June 28, 2016.
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