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review 2019-03-05 09:30
Stark, Kumpel, bist du's?
Kill City Blues - Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim“ soll verfilmt werden. Mein Kumpel Stark auf der Leinwand. Eine seltsame Vorstellung. Die Pläne für eine Verfilmung reichen weit zurück. In einem Interview von 2012 sprach der Autor Richard Kadrey bereits konkret darüber. Diese Realisierung kam offenbar nicht zustande, denn laut aktuelleren Berichten kaufte Studio 8 die Rechte an der Reihe 2016. 2018 wurde öffentlich, dass Chad Stahelski Regie führen und Kerry Williamson die Drehbuchadaption schreiben soll. Über Schauspieler_innen ist noch nichts bekannt. Kadrey selbst weigert sich, Ideen vorzuschlagen. Er habe die äußerliche Erscheinung seines Helden bewusst vage gehalten, damit seine Leser_innen sich ihr eigenes Bild machen können. Einen Schauspieler zu nennen, würde diesen Effekt ruinieren. Aus demselben Grund kommt es für mich nicht in Frage, mir eine Verfilmung anzusehen. Ich bleibe lieber bei den Büchern. Mittlerweile bin ich beim fünften Band „Kill City Blues“ angekommen.

 

Ruhestand – hach, was wäre das schön. Leider ist das für James Stark aka Sandman Slim – Ex-Höllengladiator, Ex-Himmelssöldner und Ex-Luzifer – einfach nicht drin. Er rettete die Welt, doch die Gerüchte über die Macht des Qomrama Om Ya verbreiteten sich in Windeseile und jetzt ist jeder dahergelaufene Möchtegernschurke scharf auf das Ding. Diese Leute meinen es ernst. Wieder einmal wird Stark zur Zielscheibe und beschließt, zu verhindern, dass das Qomrama Om Ya in falsche Hände gerät. Er beginnt, eigene Nachforschungen anzustellen. Nach einigen Wochen ohne Ergebnis hat er die Nase gestrichen voll und tut, was er am besten kann: kräftig auf den Busch klopfen und schauen, was hervorkriecht. Während einer seiner… Erkundungsmissionen fällt ein Name. Kill City. Ausgerechnet. Die verlassene Mall voller primitiver, feindlicher Sub-Rosa-Clans und Monster ist nicht gerade ein Ausflugsziel, das Stark freiwillig gewählt hätte. Aber nun ja, was tut man nicht alles, um die Welt zu schützen?

 

„Kill City Blues“ braucht eine Weile, um in Fahrt zu kommen. Deshalb teile ich diesen fünften Band der Sandman Slim“-Reihe in zwei Hälften unterschiedlicher Qualität. Die erste Hälfte gestaltete sich ziemlich verwirrend und chaotisch. Ich stieg nicht dahinter, welche Parteien das Qomrama Om Ya aus welchen Gründen besitzen wollen und Stark deshalb bedrohen. Ich fand die Situation unübersichtlich. Meine visuelle Assoziation war eine – zugegeben sehr brutale – Kabbelei unter Hühnern. Ich glaube, hätte nicht irgendwer angefangen, auf Stark zu schießen, hätte er sich mit Freuden zurückgelehnt und die Show genossen. Da er Kugeln aber nun mal ziemlich persönlich nimmt, mischt er sich in die Suche ein. Es schockierte mich, wie zahm und zivilisiert er dabei zuerst vorgeht. Meine Befürchtung, Kadrey könne seinen Biss verloren haben, die ich aus dem letzten Band „Devil Said Bang“ mitbrachte, potenzierten sich. Stark fragt herum. Er fragt! Er ist beinahe nett! Niemand stirbt! Ich kramte bereits mental ein schwarzes Kleid heraus, um angemessen um meinen Kumpel zu trauern, der einfach nicht mehr derselbe war. Die Mühe hätte ich mir sparen können, denn in der zweiten Hälfte von „Kill City Blues“ dreht Kadrey auf und legt eine Kehrtwende hin, die mir einen erleichterten Seufzer entlockte. Plötzlich war Stark wieder Stark. Es fühlte sich an, als hätte sich der Autor endlich auf den Kern der Reihe und das Wesen seines Protagonisten besonnen. Halleluja! Stark ist zwar wesentlich intelligenter, als er auf den ersten Blick erscheint, was mich immer wieder überrascht, aber weder ist er ein Stratege noch ein netter Kerl. Er ist unvernünftig und impulsiv. Er ist jemand, der so lange mit einem Knüppel auf den sprichwörtlichen Busch einprügelt, bis alles, was herausfällt, um Gnade winselt. Genau das macht er in der zweiten Hälfte von „Kill City Blues“. Er findet zu seiner alten Form zurück. Trotzdem gibt es Hinweise auf eine charakterliche Weiterentwicklung, die ich sehr begrüße. Stark arbeitet in Kill City erstmals in einem größeren Team. Das war interessant, obwohl ich ihn dennoch für einen Einzelgänger halte, der die Vorteile einer Gruppe nicht nutzt und handelt, als wäre er allein. In diesem Zusammenhang muss ich zähneknirschend zugeben, dass mir Candy in diesem Band besser gefiel. Sie benimmt sich weniger waghalsig und ich glaubte ihr, dass sie sich ernsthafte Sorgen um Stark macht. Eventuell erlaube ich ihr, die Frau in seinem Leben zu bleiben. Außerdem habe ich den Eindruck, dass Stark langsam zu einer inneren Balance zwischen den beiden Seiten seiner Persönlichkeit findet. Ich gönne ihm das sehr, denn er braucht diesen Frieden. Er muss beide Seiten akzeptieren lernen; gegen eine anzukämpfen, macht ihn nur unglücklich. Beide sind ein Teil von ihm, er wird niemals ein ruhiges oder gewaltfreies Leben führen, was er Stück für Stück einzusehen scheint. Sein verändertes Verhältnis zu Kasbian ist meiner Meinung nach Ausdruck dessen. Nach all der Zeit, in der sie widerwillige Mitbewohner waren, stecken sie in „Kill City Blues“ zum ersten Mal vorsichtig die Grenzen ihrer Beziehung ab. Werden sie am Ende vielleicht doch noch Freunde?

 

„Kill City Blues“ stimmt mich optimistisch. Der fünfte Band der Sandman Slim“-Reihe knüpft insgesamt zwar noch nicht an die Qualität der ersten drei Bände an, aber ich denke, Richard Kadrey ist auf dem Weg dahin. In der zweiten Hälfte des Buches lockert er die Zügel für Stark, sodass dieser endlich wieder der unbequeme Bastard sein darf, den ich liebe. Er erlaubt ihm sogar einen abenteuerlichen Kurztrip in die Hölle, den ich atemlos verfolgte. Ich hoffe, dass der Autor nun nicht länger versucht, aus Stark etwas zu machen, was er nicht. Die Handlung von „Kill City Blues“ deutet an, dass er auf einen inhaltlichen Abschluss und die nächste Stufe im Leben seines Protagonisten zusteuert. Wenn es nach mir geht, kann dieser Übergang gar nicht schnell genug stattfinden. Schluss mit alten Göttern und der Frage, wer die Hölle regiert – auf zu Neuem!

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/richard-kadrey-kill-city-blues
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review 2019-01-12 04:44
YESSSSS!
TONY STARK IRON MAN #1 ((Regular Cover)) - Marvel Comics - 2018 - 1st Printing - DanSlottStark1,ValerioSchitiStark1

Look, if you thought I was in this for Stark and his tech, well, yeah, sure, at first.   Then when I realized he'd brought in Ultron's creation, Jocasta, to be the robot ethicist.

 

It's a fun series, especially watching Jocasta teach people to treat robots like people, and her telling every robotic creation with/approaching self-awareness that they didn't have to throw themselves into danger if they didn't want to.

 

I have a feeling that she'll put a wrench in many of Stark's plans, but she also stole the show for me.   Debating buying all of this, along with a Bumblebee one-shot I missed in a week or so when the Bee issue goes half-off.   

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review 2018-12-16 21:55
It's been a long time since I read this one...
Highway Man - Eden Winters,Darcy Stark

and when I saw it on audible I just couldn't resist the opportunity to enjoy it on audio.

 

Every since the accident that claimed his life...Killian Desmond has lived his life in the shadows letting the world believe that the accident that claimed  him brother and bandmates also claimed him. But when the opportunity to earn a night's pay filling in with a tribute band presents itself Killian discovers that not everyone in the band is easily fooled and Tex sees past the shadows to the man who's hiding.

 

At less than 2 hours 'Highway Man' packs an emotional punch that will leave the reader reaching for some tissues and a little red around the eyes. It's been at least 6 years since I read the e-book but despite the years between then and now, the one thing I had no problem remembering was how much I enjoyed this story so there I was 'Highway Man' by Eden Winters and narrated by Darcy Stark...no thought needed on this one...I  clicked the buy button and it was a done deal.

 

'Highway Man' is a story of love and loss, of starting over, forgiving yourself, healing and second chances and it's 1 hour and 43 minutes of pure emotion. This is the 5th book that I'm enjoyed by this narrator and I know I have at least 2 more to go because he's also the narrator for Ms. Winters 'Diversion' series and I definitely looking forward to enjoying that series on audio...I've already got the first to books ready to go and as soon as the rest are available me and my grabby hands will be all over them.

 

If you're not familiar with this author or this narrator 'Highway Man' is a very enjoyable way to fix that little oversight...this one's definitely recommended.

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review 2018-12-06 20:13
Sometimes...girls just wanna' have fun...
North on Drummond - K.C. Burn,Darcy Stark

I've has this one in my audio library for ages and when I was looking for my next listen to see what was going to strike my fancy, I checked out the blurb for this one and it just sounded like fun...lots and lots of fun!

 

I was right this one was fun. Not in the stand-up comedy way, but in the lots of stuff going on and with a bit of humor and a small dose of irony added at times. 'North on Drummond' was a story that had a few twist and turns. While Drew Drummond earns a living as a psychic tarot card reader...he doesn't really believe in any of it. But a guys got to support himself right?

 

Drew comes from a family with a less than stellar reputation but he's determined to be possibly the first honest and legitimate person in his family. He doesn't want to walk on hte wrong side of the law because the man who has captured his attention and his heart wears a badge and even though he left town years ago...Drew knows he's coming back and no it's not because he's psychic...but you have to read the story to find out why he knows.

 

When Cliff Garcia left town he had no intentions of ever looking back much less returning. Even though his mother still lives there but time and circumstances have taught him the hard way...never, say never. Cliff's back and a member of the local law enforcement.

 

One of the first things that Cliff sees when he returns to Sandy Bottom Bay is the sexiest ginger he's ever seen...now if he could just find out who he is and get to know him better. This all sounds good to him until he discovers that his sexy ginger is not only a Drummond but a psychic a word that Cliff sees as being synonymous with words like charlatan, con artist, grifter and on and on...but still...he's drawn to Drew and as circumstances keep drawing them together, Cliff realizes that his attraction to Drew is much stronger than his dislike of Drew's family or his career choice.

 

Drew and Cliff's story is played out against a series of day to day events some a little more unusual than others and as the story unfolds many of the events turn out to be connected to 'the bigger picture'. Amidst all the daily happenings in Sandy Bottom Bay the reader is introduced to a varied and interesting collection of characters some are locals...like Drew's brothers and his best friend Kyle, or Cliff's mom and his good friend Scott, who turns out to also be a member of the Sandy Bottom Bay Police Department. There's also Drew's slightly shady brothers as opposed to his totally shady father (dad's doing time). Then there are the visitors to the mystic town of Sandy Bottom Bay...like Cliff's ex who claims it a work thing but as the story progresses it becomes clear that there's more to his story than meets the eye

 

I really loved how this story played out so many of the characters were more than a little entertaining I loved Kyle and I think a story about him getting together with his secret crush(es) would be every bit as entertaining as this one and then there was Cliff's mom...Mom was EPIC!!! She's the town matriarch and when momma's not happy trust me ain't no one going to be happy!!! But this was all in the coolest ways possible. Cliff's friend and co-worker Scott was another character whom I really liked and then there was Cliff's ex...yeah, he can just drop off the face of the earth.

 

I also like how the paranormal elements were introduced into the story and not just there and in our face from the word go and that's all I'm saying about this other than to add that the author did an awesome job of sliding this into events and making it seem far more believable for how they did this.

 

This is my fourth audio book narrated by Darcy Stark and so far I've enjoyed his narrations. Adding both expression and depth to the stories  and giving me uniquely individual voices for each character. Darcy Stark is quickly becoming one of 'no worries here' narrators because I know when I see his name beside an audio book I just need to wonder if I'll like the story...the audio's not in question.

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review 2018-09-06 17:09
No 4 alarm fires here, just a slow steady burn...
Set Ablaze - K.C. Burn,Darcy Stark

'Set Ablaze' is essentially a second chance romance with some mystery woven in. When Hayden's best friend, Miguel, asks  him to take in  Jez, his younger brother,  Hayden's not thrilled with he idea but it's his best friend and he gets it...Miguel lives in a small one bedroom apartment while Hayden has a two story house all to himself. So reluctantly he agrees. After all how bad can it be it's just until Jez gets his own place and it's not like he doesn't have the room.

 

For Jez seeing Hayden again brings back memories of his teenage crush, but he's sure that Hayden's straight...until he discovers that he's not. As Hayden and Jez get to know each other again both men struggle with their attraction.

 

Jez is hasn't been totally honest with either his brother or Hayden about the real reason that he's run to California. He's running from a relationship that's gone bad and left him with more than a couple of issues of his own. Plus there's his other secret an adorable, small, furry secret named Fang...Jez is sure that Hayden hates dogs and Jez needs a place to stay...at least for a little while.

 

Hayden may be out about his sexuality but that doesn't necessarily mean he's currently in or has had any relationships because even though he doesn't consciously admit it he knows that telling his fellow firefighters he's gay is one thing having them see it in the form of him in a relationship is totally another issue.  Some of the men who Hayden calls 'friends' are to say the least less than friends and more than a little homophobic and it takes Jez's determination to never again be anyone's victim and his courage to speak out to make Hayden see that his feigned indifference not only isn't what's needed but it's in fact endorsing their behavior. Being out while still in the closet isn't Hayden's only issue and Jez is going to have to be both patient and persistent if he wants to get to the heart of Hayden's compulsive tidy/cleanliness. 

 

I definitely appreciated that the author addressed this issue because too often society would rather feign indifference...don't make waves, don't cause a scene...does any of this sound familiar? I think we've all heard something like this before and while the author didn't delve into this intensely it was part of the story but not an overwhelming part of the story and that's as it should be because it's the relationship between Jez and Hayden that's the story's focus. The social issues are wrapped in with this and definitely a driving force contributing to things ending up where they did. Just as in real life neither of these men have been molded by any one particular incident in their life but they are an amalgamation of events both big and small. 

 

The relationship between Hayden and Jez was to say the least built on a lot of awkward moments, definite miscommunication or more accurately a lack of communication because that's what happens when people keep secrets...poor communication and this wasn't helped by Miguel's lack of information sharing. Sadly both of these men have experienced abusive relationships of a very different nature this is far more reflective of the real world than it should be and as is often the case real life is stranger than fiction but fiction is frequently a reflection of real life. 

 

Just like his brother and friend Miguel is also a creation of experiences and circumstances and while he initially seemed like a member of Hayden's Asshat Brigade, he turns out to be a big brother who just wants to protect his brother and his friend from them.

 

Admittedly there were some things about the story that could have been better or different but overall this for me was a sweet story about two men finding comfort and healing together allowing themselves to move on and build a life together. 

 

Darcy Stark was the narrator for this audio book and while this was only my third time listening to this narrator. It was also the third time that I've been treated a very enjoyable audio experience. I enjoyed his voices and the expressiveness of his voice. This is definitely an author & narrator combination that I'm looking forward to hearing more from in the near future...I mean I might have 'North on Drummond' cued up in audio list...I guess you'll just have to wait for the review.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'Set Ablaze' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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