KILL THE DEAD by Richard Kadrey

Kill the deadThis was  serious book that is really funny, and clever, and a page turner.  It is classified as horror, (but it seems to be  horror that is not particularly horrible), fantasy/paranormal/urban fantasy and maybe a few other genres that I missed.

This is the sequel to Kadrey’s acclaimed Sandman Slim, and the folks in the know say that it is even better than the first book.  I believe the two have been made into a movie.  I am too lazy to go check.

The basic idea is Sandman Slim, James Stark to the initiated, is a Nephilim, which is a being who is half angel, half human.  His mother was a human, and he thinks his father is Lucifer.

After some events, he ends up fighting in the Arena in hell for a number of years.  All this happened in the first book, so I am a little unclear as to what exactly led to his descent, but he eventually ends up back on earth, working for the Golden Vigil, Heaven’s Pinkertons which is dedicated to eradicating vampires and other like creatures, and at the same time, he works for Lucifer, killing enemies of the Fallen Angel.

When he asks an angel ‘What use are you?’,  the angel tells him

“None.  We angels have outlived our time.  We’re superfluous.  But I thought you already knew that.”

The book is filled with all kinds of beings, elementals, golems, werefolk, vampires, angels, Lucifer himself, on earth because he has a movie contract, demons, pixies, and a crazy Czech Gypsy porn-star zombie killer.

Here’s some nifty info for you:

The Codex says that when Lucifer’s army was cast out of Heaven, one of the fallen didn’t make it all the way to Hell and landed in a valley on earth instead.  It was burned and broken, but humans still recognized it as an angel.  The local blue bloods sent their doctors to help it, but the angel was sick and bloated like a tick by then.  It attacked anyone who came near it.  All of those people ended up turning into zeds. [zombies].  Those zeds attacked their families and friends.  The ones they didn’t eat became zeds and attacked other people.  The people who lived in the hills saw that things were getting out of control, so they started fires and burned the whole valley.  They thought they’d gotten everything, but some of the zeds supposedly escaped into caves.  Mostly they stay underground, but every now and then one wanders out or gets summoned by a necromancer.  That’s it.  They all lived happily ever f**king after.  The end.”

So now you know where zombies came from.

Stark is an anti-hero’s anti-hero,  and he even has his own Wikipedia page.  He lives with a head.  No, not a druggie, a head, the bodiless Kasabian, who is thus afflicted due to crossing Lucifer in the first book.   This is a bit of a mystery story as Stark is drawn into a missing person scenario in the bizarro L.A where he lives.  At the same time, Lucifer assigns him the job of being his bodyguard.  Why would Lucifer need bodyguards?  He’s the Devil, for pete’s sake.  Well, because he has enemies — lots of them.  Oh, gee, I wonder why.

The book has gore, battles, magic, funny lines, sad lines, and a likable guy going about his daily business of killing things.  Just another day in L.A.

I loved it!




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