Book Review: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

About the Book

Sandman Slim has arrived—a wild and weird, edge-of-your-seat supernatural roller-coaster rider that propels author Richard Kadrey to the forefront of the fantasy, thriller, and a host of other literary genres. This spellbinding, utterly remarkable tale of a vengeful magician/hitman’s return from hell is part H.P. Lovecraft, part Christopher Moore, part Jim Butcher, and totally, unabashedly dark, twisted, and hilarious.

— Description from

The Enchanted Alley’s Review

A friend and fellow book lover recommended this book to me after we’d been talking about how jarring present tense narrative can be. Sandman Slim is written in first person, present tense, which I generally can’t stand to read at all. Kadrey does use it well, though. My friend was right. It’s not as obtrusive in the narrative as others.

The story is described as “gritty” and surely is. It’s a great dark book. The world described in the book is our own, but it’s colored by a darkness that probably already exists but is mostly ignored. I found myself more engaged with Stark’s (the main character) interactions with the world after having been in Hell for eleven years than with the actual plot (revenge, murder, etc.). The world changed while he was down below, but in comparison with Kadrey’s description of Hell, one might prefer Hell to L.A. And that’s scary.

The basic plot is one of revenge—Stark is a magician who was sent to Hell by his fellow magicians and has returned to kill them. While in Hell, Stark learned a few tricks and is now a nearly unstoppable killing machine who destroys clothes faster than Stephanie Plum destroys automobiles. The plot dragged in some places, but I feel that might be a reflection of the frustration the main character was feeling of not knowing what to do or where to go next. He flies by the seat of his pants most of the story, and sometimes that made me, as the reader, anxious and uncertain. The story very effectively makes the reader feel the characters’ emotions, but they’re not the best emotions.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I’ll definitely read the next one.

4 Lamps


Enchanted Rating: 4

Essential Info:

Title:  Sandman Slim

Author: Richard Kadrey

Publisher: HarperCollins

Length: 405 pages

Release Date: January 26, 2010

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE


Book Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

About the Book

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night….Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

The Enchanted Alley’s Review

I’m not sure what I expected, exactly, but it wasn’t this. The story is unlike one I’ve read before, and the concept is brilliant.
However, I gave this story four stars instead of five (as I really liked it) because it felt almost like two different stories.
It took a while to get into the pace it held by the end. The story and characters seemed to shift unexpectedly about a third of the way through. Once the vampires showed up, the story changed quite a bit, becoming less about Dina and her parents, the house, and the innkeeper role and more about the vampire political scene.
Overall, while I enjoyed the story, I’d have liked to have seen more of Dina’s interaction with the inn and more about how she and the inn are connected. The werewolf was okay, but the vampires, not so much.
I will pick up the next one though.
4 Lamps


Enchanted Rating: 4

Clean-Sweep-Cover-SmallEssential Info:

Title:  Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

Author: Ilona Andrews

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Length: 235 pages

Release Date: Dec. 2, 2015

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE