I've spent several posts describing my sadness over a recent top bestseller. I thought I'd talk about a plesant surprise find in my reading.
It's a bit Raymond Chandler and a bit Jim Butcher. Think SIN CITY meets SUPERNATURAL. THEY LIVE action with HARRY DRESDEN dialogue. Its backstory is CONSTANTINE mixed in with GLADIATOR.
It's Richard Kadrey's first outing so sometimes it can be a bit rough ... the lack of rules to the magic and the chaotic cosmology can be a bit mind-spinning. Yet this is only to be expected for building a foundation for further novels in the series. But for the most part it is a fun thrill ride with a hero you can root for.
It has style and wit. Its hero is a man sent to Hell alive to fight for the pleasure of fallen angels. After 11 years of surviving where few do, he escapes back to Los Angeles in order to find those who betrayed him, sent him to Hell, and murdered his girl friend. Instead of simple revenge, he instead finds intrigue and hints of a plot to do something entirely nasty on a hugely epic scale to reality.
Understand it can be violent. It is also funny and thrilling. It will be the one of the best summer blockbusters you ever read. Forgive the proofreader. He must have been caught up in having too good a time reading for sheer fun to spot the grammatical errors.
But beneath the fun and thrills is a subtle question : are we all on the same side?
And the answer is : yes. The side that, in small measure or large, seems intent on hurting itself ... whether by food, drink, greed ... the path has the same signpost : excess.
It asks another question very softly : are the things that got you into whatever hell you find yourself, the very same things that can get you out of it ... if you but use them constructively not destructively?
And now the book trailer for the novel that is being made into a movie by Tim Burton :
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