Title: Sandman Slim
Author: Richard Kadrey
Length: 388 pages
Genre: paranormal fantasy
Plot Basics: James Butler was sent to Hell 11 years ago (not dead, mind you). Now, he's managed to find a way to come back and exact revenge on the people who sent him there. And while being a hitman from Hell has its tactical advantages, other people what him to take sides in a much bigger conflict.
Banter Points: Word Nerd picked up this book just from walking past it on the new books shelf at the library. It was the title that caught her eye and then the book jacket made it sound like something she might enjoy (a hitman from Hell, why not?!). And she did -- but it's one of those stories that she feels sort of bad about liking. It's rather violent. It involves completely wacky theology. But it's very well-written and hard to put down. Kadrey has all these great descriptions for things (at one point, James said something along the lines of feeling like he got hit with a bag full of cans of tuna fish). Rounding out the crazy cast of characters is a fallen angels, immortal French thief, human-eating girl and talking head (literally), it's a mind-whirling read.
Bummer Points: If this isn't the first book in a series, Word Nerd's going to be disappointed.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Fans of the Dresden Files, possibly Anita Blake-esque books, and the Joss Whedon show Angel should definitely check out Sandman Slim. Also, Word Nerd thinks this could be her dark horse pick in her 2009 top ten books list.