The books have a silly theological backdrop, nifty characters (all intensely human even if nominally demiurges or Nephilim or whatever), terrific atmospherics, good fight pieces, and (especially) razor-sharp hard-boiled dialog.
They’re full of gags and erudite-pop-culture references and you’ll find yourself doing plenty of smiling.
Kill City Blues · If you’re hooked like me and haven’t snapped this up, go right ahead, it’s up there with the rest. If you’re not yet, don’t; go back and do the series in order; otherwise some of it will lose you. Also you’ll probably save a few bucks, because Sandman pricing is insane verging on abusive. Also, if you take your time working your way through, Sandman Six may be out, and that would be good.
Because this is a typically-strong Sandman outing, with two problems:
It ends halfway through the story. There was some low-level criticism of the last couple of novels, saying they were too big and complicated; maybe Kadrey took that to heart?
The episode where they fight their way down through the ruined mall to retrieve the Kozmick Eight-ball (no, really) goes on a little too long. Too much action, not enough snappy talk. Bit of a videogame feel.
But anyhow, I enjoyed it, you probably will too if you like this kind of thing. I ended up re-reading the first couple of books and noticed that I actually guffawed out loud both times I went past this little snatch of dialogue, so why not share? It’s from the second book, Kill the Dead.
A woman opens the door. Another marshal.
“Evening, ma’am, I’m collecting for UNICEF.”
“Stark, right? Get in here. Marshal Wells is waiting.”
“And you are?”
“No one you need to know.” She lets me inside...
“Nice. Defensiveness and moral superiority in two-point-four seconds. A new land speed record.”
“Marshal Wells said you liked to talk.”
“I’m a people person.”
“Is that before or after you cut people’s heads off?”
“I only cut off my enemies’ heads. I break my friends’ hearts.”
“So, that’s, what, zero hearts broken?”
“The night’s still young.”