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Ballistic Kiss

(Sandman Slim #11)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  803 ratings  ·  117 reviews

Sandman Slim is back in Los Angeles and kicking more supernatural ass in this inventive, high-octane page-turner—the next to last volume in the popular and acclaimed fantasy adventure series from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey.

As the battle between warring angels continues, James Stark is focused on seemingly simpler matters now that he’s resurfaced o

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published September 3rd 2020 by HarperVoyager (first published August 25th 2020)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Jimmy Stark, aka Little Lamb Lost. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

Shocking as fish, isn't it? Don't let it worry you too much, though. Jimmy's still as much of a homicidal maniac as he ever was, so things are not as bad as they seem. Hahahaha, just kidding. Of course they are. I mean, this is Sandman Slim, after all😬.

Full review to come and stuff.

· Book 1: Sandman Slim ★★★★★
· Book 2: Kill the Dead ★★★★★
· Book 3: Aloha from Hell ★★★★
· Book 3.5: Devil in the Dollhouse ★★★★★
· Book 4: De
Ballistic Kiss is the eleventh book in Kadrey's Sandman Slim gritty urban fantasy series set in parts of Hollywood and parts of Hell (as if there were much difference). Magic, ghosts, and massive slobbering beasts are the order of the day as are long stretches about hipster gatherings and the world's last video store.
kartik narayanan
This book is underwhelming.

Maybe it's me and I have forgotten the structure of the earliest Sandman Slim novels. Or maybe its the fact that Sandman Slim might have outstayed his welcome. Or that there is yet another setup for a universe-shattering calamity.

It just feels like the charm is no longer there. Sandman Slim and his coterie of friends seem like paper-thin characters, the plot seems insipid and the resolution boring.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not great, not typical of the series. One sure fire way of knowing when an author has spent a bit too long in a world is when they introduce current political and social issues into their story. It reeks of having run out of creativity. Such a cop-out. So lame. I read these to escape this world and enjoy a new one. That didn’t happen. This book felt more like a long lesson in genders and their pronouns than a good ole James Stark adventure. I’m not saying it’s not an important issue,but ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been one of my favorite all-time series, with each book typically better than its predecessors. But this was a strange, subdued outing this time.
-0.5 stars for Stark on anti-anxiety/PTSD drugs
-0.5 stars for the absurd Zero Lodge that Stark just rolls with.
-0.5 stars for coincidences (e.g. Allegra asks to go the zoo where there just so happens to be a Zero Lodge outing at that exact same moment).
-0.5 stars for the frustrating, irritatingly stupid Janet character. Kadrey is great at writ
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, audiobook
08/25/2020 Notes:

- 4.5 Stars for Narration by MacLeod Andrews - I think this is my fav one by him for Sandman Slim.
- 4 Stars for Plot
Classic Sandman. Though, I wasn't ready for how upset he was in the story. I should have been because of the last book, but I wasn't.
- I can see this book becoming a 5 Star on a re-read. It's full of sharp edges, crazy people, couple of great events for the overall plot arc, warm fuzzies of friendship and Stark's very odd idea of relationship. He needs to work on
This series keeps getting weirder in the best possible way.
Even if I don't like it as much as previous books in the series.
The plot follows the tried and true pattern for Sandman Slim... people don't survive long. But I like the shift in the story: Slim becomes more and more human, leaving the stress and pacing of previous books to become a person I can imagine existing. From PTSD to respecting office politics, I really like how this book shifts the story.
But... Janet. Why? I understand why he n
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Stark aka Sandman Slim is back in Ballistic Kiss, the eleventh installment in the Sandman Sim paranormal noir detective series by Richard Kadrey and it’s all kinds of fun. Stark is trying to readjust to life in LA when he is recruited to clear out a ghost infestation in Little Cairo. It seems like an easy job but these ghosts are not only destructive, normal magic doesn’t work on them. Instead, he must find what’s keeping them here which may take some time - time he doesn’t have much of - ...more
Kevin. McKernan
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and worthwhile read
Fábio Fernandes
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2020
It's one of the best Fantasy series ever. I can't get tired of James Stark.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"When You're trying to hold off a hellbeast you better have something bigger than a meadball sub. Especially if it happens to be Your only weapon.
I mean, this isn't even a good sandwich. A good meatball sub should be hard to hold"

Bought that masterpiece yesterday for $29 at B&N three days before it's official release, read half of it yesterday night. Very slow beginning, not very well connected to previous part, the same characters Candy, Alesse, Janet, Allegra ... all women characters ... lol A
Dawn Schiller
Sandman Slim is back! And he's...a ghosthunter? The Augur has Stark trying to exorcise Little Cairo before the ghosts can escape and destroy the city of L.A. On top of that, Samael has him looking for an AWOL angel in the hope she can help to end the war in Heaven.

All of Stark's Sub Rosa and mundane friends are back, with the addition of Janet, a gender-fluid donut shop worker whose life Stark had saved during the invasion of the High Plains Drifters. Between Janet and his old girlfriend Candy,
Eveline Hecklinger
I don't think I can adequately convey how badly my heart hurts giving this book 3 stars. Lots of issues here. First of all the whole pronoun thing. Don't even come for me. I have a gay kid with transgender friends, but this whole non binary thing was so awkward and cringey. I don't think a hell best fighting nephilim would be finding this issue high on the list.
Starks PTSD problems also are very clumsily worked into this book.
Don't get me freaking started on Janet, the entitled, whiny brat. Th
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover blurb mentions that this is the penultimate book in the Sandman Slim series. This is sad both because it's such a great series and because this is one of the beat books in the series. Sandman Slim is still working on his relationship with Candy, still recovering his humanity, and rediscovering his empathy as he struggles to overcome his years in Hell. He has become a mythic hero over the course of the books. The secondary characters are all present, with a couple of surprises along the ...more
David Miles
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was torn between a 3 and a 4 rating on this one.

Stark seems to be gaining a conscience. I liked him better as a complete hard-ass (with an emphasis on the word ASS), but I guess he's evolving...and the story amused me. So 4 it is!
Marielle Authier
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Expected publication: June 2nd 2020 by Harper Voyager
Change to Expected publication: August 25th 2020 by Harper Voyager
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I wanted to give this 5 stars just because this is Sandman Slim and I was so happy to finally get to read what is happening to Stark after his bout with being dead. Stark's depression seemed out of character for the guy who lived by the code "shoot first, ask questions later". The Janet non-binary thing took up too much page space and became redundant. Overall, her character became annoying especially with Stark mooning over Candy but showing his desire to make things work with Janet to the poin ...more
Didi Chanoch
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I expect many things from a Sandman Slim novel. I expect a clever plot, I expect a great cast of characters, and a mix of the personal and the infernal (and/or divine, and there not being much difference between the two). I got all of those things.

I did not expect a Sandman Slim novel to make me cry. And yet, it did.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, the obvious.... The attempt at inclusivity felt poorly executed and rushed. It took away a bit from an otherwise enjoyable story. The way the author added backstory and depth to Carlos in prior books is how it should have been done.

All of that aside, it's a Sandman Slim book... What's not to like? A tad predictable at this point, but no more so than other series. Overall, I like the direction it is heading.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It feels like the world is growing again and that the characters are following suit.

Nice to see some inclusion in the book as well.
Jeff Kart
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodbye Stark (almost). See you on the big screen. The ending was wrenching and I liked the Old Hollywood tie-in but felt like Janet was a modern-day Jar Jar.
Paul Rivas
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure, I'm a very big Richard Kadrey fan. I liked this latest Sandman Slim book a lot. It flows well, is a smooth and solid story. The way Mr. Kadrey pulls the story lines together, balances new characters, old characters and an recovering Stark makes for an enjoyable read.
John Walden
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reid Edwards
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kadrey has done it again - Sandman Slim surely rests (slouchily, uncomfortably and likely with alcohol) among the best protagonists in paranormal fantasy. Within each novel, Kadrey presents the reader with questions and debates about understandings and beliefs in our world, framing them in an enthralling package, and Ballistic Kiss is no different. Stark is forced to examine his understanding of gender identity, religion and personal ethics, allowing the reader to vicariously debate these topics ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, an entertaining and quick read/listen (got the audiobook). Sandman Slim is going existential! After the events of the previous books and episodes of being dead, undead and then resurrected, James Stark seems to be back in LA for good. While he is used to fighting monsters, demons, angels and occasionally normal people, he isn't at all prepared for living what counts as a regular life among the supernatural community. He is being treated for PTSD by Allegra, he lives on junkfood and boo ...more
Keith Miller
I'll start by saying I liked this chapter in Stark's story but it was hard to come by. Here's why... the plot was super simple, the set-up and pay-off brightly apparent---like Gladius bright, some of the new characters were annoying. Everything you love about Stark is there, the snark, the attitude, the self-loathing disguised as arrogance, and the penchant for violence. There is a attempt at character growth which is needed and kind of funny---Stark on mood enhancement drugs, that's a sitcom on ...more
Valerie - Cats Luv Coffee
Ballistic Kiss is the eleventh book in the Sandman Slim series. The series features a half-man, half-angel protagonist, James Stark, in a world filled with vampires, demons, and magic. Those of us wanting some Dresden file detective noir happily stumbled onto the first self-titled Sandman Slim book back in 2009.

Stark is quite an unconventional character. Being half-angel is only the start of it. He spent years in Hell, battling demons in gladiator pits. He's also a movie junkie, owning his own
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Kadrey has done it again, weaving another page turning chapter in the Sandman Slim series.

Ballistic Kiss starts out slow, and Kadrey keeps ratcheting up the stakes and the tension until all hell breaks loose (which, in this series, tends to be taken literally).

One thing that is clear from the beginning: the events of the previous years have not been kind to Stark's mental state. He is maladjusted, disassociated, and having a hard time coping. Toss some hellbeasts or insane angels, and St
Jason S Wrench
Ballistic Kiss is the latest in Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series. As a long-term fan of this series, I jumped at the opportunity to review this book for the publisher prior to its publication date. Although I am VERY thankful to the publisher for this opportunity, my review is completely my own.

So, if you're a fan of the Sandman Slim series, then you're going to be very satisfied with this book. If you're unfamiliar with this series, I would highly recommend starting at the beginning and ma
Adam Blanc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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. ...more

Other books in the series

Sandman Slim (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)
  • Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2)
  • Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim, #3)
  • Devil Said Bang (Sandman Slim, #4)
  • Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim, #5)
  • The Getaway God (Sandman Slim, #6)
  • Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim, #7)
  • The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, #8)
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)
  • Hollywood Dead (Sandman Slim, #10)

News & Interviews

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28 likes · 1 comments
“As far as assholes go, you’re not the biggest one I ever met.” “That I’ll take as a compliment.” 0 likes
“Goodbye, Stark.” “See you around.” “See, every time you say that it sounds like a threat.” “It’s not.” “And yet.” 0 likes
More quotes…