Saturday, November 12, 2011

Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey

Aloha from Hell
Richard Kadrey
Sandman Slim #3

From Goodreads: The ruthless avenger, a.k.a. Stark, finds himself trapped in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell. With God on vacation, the Devil nosing around in Paradise, and an insane serial killer doing serious damage on Earth, Stark/Slim is ready to unleash some more adrenaline-surging, edgy and violent supernatural mayhem—and even pay another visit to Hell if necessary—which is great news for fans of Jim Butcher, Warren Ellis, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, and Simon R. Green.

Well, the writing's not exactly Pulitzer quality, and the story has all the subtlety of a grenade launcher, but things get blown up, burned, shot, stabbed, filleted, and otherwise destroyed. Reading these books is just fun. It's sort of like watching an action movie; sure, there's some plot there, and it's probably exciting (I like the way Kadrey paints Heaven and Hell), but the real point is the explosions. (And actually, this series would make great movies. Start producing, Hollywood.)

Stark is pretty much the ultimate badass. After however many years in Hell, he's gotten very good at killing things, and that's what he does. But like any halfway decent action movie hero, he's got a heart buried somewhere under all the scar tissue. The duality of human Stark and his angelic better half was a little weird, especially at the end, but it's not entirely unheard of, though usually it's done with half-demons instead. His continuing affection for Alice was a touching addition to Stark's character, so I was pleased this book was about her as well as Candy, who's really better for post-Hell Stark.

I've come to the conclusion that characters should never actually meet God. Expecting mysterious and unfathomable and getting snide and mean is just a letdown. But otherwise, it was fun, and I'm curious to see where the story is going next.

Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 3 cupcakes
Style: 3 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes

GARS Score: 2.5 (5/5/2/2)
What's a GARS Score?

If you liked Aloha from Hell, try:
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Nightlife by Rob Thurman
Hounded by Kevin Hearne

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