The Perdition Score, book #8 of the Sandman Slim series, delivers everything we’ve come to expect from the series: fast action, a wise-cracking hero, paranormal romance, and bad guys that clearly deserve to lose in a spectacular and violent fashion. The usual cast of characters are back, along with a few that haven’t graced the page in a bit, and a few new faces freshen up the formula a tad. Fans will enjoy the continuing adventures of a guy who keeps trying to do the right thing without much encouragement or reward for saving the world …. again.
Note: I received an advanced copy of THE PERDITION SCORE from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Perdition Score by Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim #8)
Published by Harper Voyager on June 28, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The request from Thomas Abbot, the Augur of the Sub Rosa council, couldn’t come at a better time for James Stark, aka Sandman Slim. For a man who’s most recently met Death—and death’s killer—a few months of normal life is more than he can handle. He needs a little action, and now Abbott wants Stark and Candy to investigate the disappearance of a young boy—and help uncover council members who might be tied to Wormwood’s power brokers.
Stark’s plans change when he meets a dying angel who gives him a vial of a mysterious black liquid that could be a secret weapon in the ongoing war between angels who want to allow human souls into Heaven and rebel angels willing to die to keep them out. When one of Stark’s closest friends is poisoned with the black liquid, Stark and Candy have to go to the only place where they might find a cure: Hell.
But standing in their way are the damned souls who, even after death, still work for Wormwood. The secret deal they’ve struck with the rebel angels is darker than anything Stark has encountered. Not only does the fate of the world hang in the balance, but also the souls of everyone in it. Stark has to find a way to break the stalemate in the angel war, score the Perdition cure for the black poison, and make it back to LA in one piece—where an old enemy waits to finish him once and for all.
- I’m still enjoying James Stark aka “Sandman Slim” – the angel/human cross who deals constantly with prejudice from the Heavenly host while he continues to save their collective behinds. He’s a supernatural MacGyver these days, managing to pull off feats with his magic and wits after having lost access to some of his most prized and useful tools. He never quits and always figures out a way, all the while assuming that all good deeds will be punished. He’d be a good role model except for the fact that he’d find a way to make me regret even thinking such a thing.
- Kadrey’s world-building continues to be rich and irreverent. This time, we get a chance to see Hell, which looks an awful lot like L.A. Having been to L.A. in the summer, I tend to agree with him.
- Some of the good guys actually get to be good guys in this volume, and Stark manages to adjust his world view enough to just go with it. He’s trying hard to adjust to his new life (mostly) on Earth, and he certainly seems to be growing a bit as a person.
- Most of the usual secondary characters seemed to be stage dressing this time around, although one does occasion Stark’s return to Hell.
- I spent more time looking up the background story of characters in this book, compared to book #7. There seemed to be less explanation of who they were and their relationship to Stark …. or why they needed to be in the book at all. I’m sure long-time fans would have missed them, but as a newcomer, I felt a bit like I’d crashed a party of close friends.
I think true fans of Sandman Slim will enjoy this book. It is well-paced and delivers both action and attitude by the bucketful.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
THE PERDITION SCORE by RICHARD KADREY
© 2016, Barbara. All rights reserved.