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The Kill Society, by Richard Kadrey, begins when Sandman Slim finds himself in the Tenebrae, a subset of hell that is home to the lost dead. He has no idea where he is, and he has no weapons. Before he can make it very far, he finds himself in conflict with a group called the Havok, led by a ruthless leader who is on a holy crusade. Slim unwillingly finds himself a part of the group, trying to survive the everyday threats of Hell, a traitor in the Havok who is trying to destroy them, and angels who are trying to kill him.
As he makes his way through the desolate land, Slim does not give up hope that he can find his way back home, back to his girlfriend, Candy. At the same time, he tries to grapple with the destruction he caused after he tried to open Heaven’s gates and created a war between angels and demons.
What I Thought
This is the first of the Sandman Slim books I have ever picked up. I had serious doubts at first, and for the first couple of chapters, I contemplated putting it down. The character of Sandman Slim was very exaggerated, and it seemed like every line he said was to further the understanding of his asshole-ness. As I got further into the story, I realized that Slim’s character was just an asshole, and that was what made him so damn likable. His personality, and the situations he found himself in, were imaginative and original. The events of the story were definitely high-octane, balls to the walls, and this style kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next.
For this being the ninth installment of the series, the story did a pretty good job of making this a stand-alone book, even though it was not necessarily meant to be. I definitely want to go back to the beginning of the series, because I feel like I missed some of the nuanced aspects of Slim’s story, but the quality of the story was not sacrificed for it.
On a final note, Kadrey’s take of Heaven and Hell were original and genius, and I loved the story’s dirty, raw tone. Kadrey has a true talent to make each character have depth and intrigue, even if they might not make the most likable choices.
Why You Should Read It
Having started nine books in, I recommend reading this if you have read the previous novels. However, if you do what I do, I am sure that you will enjoy it, but give it a chance for the story to get going before you judge. Also, the ending is great, and I am excited to see what Kadrey cooks up for the next novel!
The Kill Society (affiliate link), by Richard Kadrey, was published by Harper Voyager, and released on June 6, 2017.