http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/41AuCKvRncL__AA300__2259.jpg


The ''SandmanSlim'' series of books by Richard Kadrey are about a man named James William Butler "Sandman Slim" Stark who is a talented magician (not a wizard! Wizards are Harry Potter) living in our world where magic is under the {{Masquerade}}. When he trusts the wrong people, the group who he thought were his allies [[AssholeVictim (or at least not asshole enough to pull a stunt like this)]] sends him on a one-way trip to hell. For eleven years he's forced to participate in gladiatorial events for the entertainment of demons and fallen angels, then recruited as hitman for Azazel. When his girlfriend back on Earth is killed, LikeABadassOutOfHell he steals a key that can take him anywhere in the universe and escapes to the mortal world to [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge hunt the killers down]], including their leader [[SmugSnake Mason Faim]] and his pet thug [[TheDragon Parker]].

Basically Stark is [[DresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] minus any sense of morality and on permanent god-mode. No wait... What's higher than god-mode?

''Kill The Dead'': Taking place six months after the first book, James kills some vampires, has to find a woman's son, and becomes Lucifer's bodyguard during a filming of his life story. To top that off, he accidentally begins and consequently has to stop a ZombieApocalypse.

''Aloha from Hell:'' Taking place two months after the previous events in the last book. After a successful break-in with Vidocq, Stark gets a job to find a possessed nineteen year-old named Hunter, who is addicted to a psychic drug called Akira. As he later finds out, he was the younger brother of T.J., one of the old members of Stark's old circle. When he finally finds Hunter, it turns out to he's not possessed by a demon but by Mason himself. Mason tells Stark that he kidnapped Alice, his dead ex-girlfriend, from heaven [[spoiler:(thanks to Aelita). He then proceeds to tell Stark that if he wants to save her, he literally has to go back to Hell. After informing the Kissi, Josef, and his fellows about the situation, Stark then crashes his car to get to Hell.(Not before burning down the garden of Eden.) There he breaks into Eleusis to get Alice and a demon general out of Tartarus to fight against Mason. Then he kills Mason in a game of Russian roulette (Stark cheats, of course). This makes Stark the new Lucifer in hell (much to his displeasure.) ]]

''Devil Said Bang'': Taking place three months after the events in the last book. Stark is not enjoying his time ruling Hell the new Lucifer. When three Hellion assassins attack Stark, and are defeated by him. This leads to Stark investigating who is plotting to kill him. He find an 8-ball that is in actuality the [[ArtifactOfDoom Qomrama Om Ya.]] He then kills one of the main conspirators, then returns to, Los Angeles, to see how his friends are doing. Only to find himself not being warmly welcomed back. As it turns out Stark's angel-half now called, "Saint James", is accused of killing the mayor's son and, a ghost is going around killing members of the sub rosa. [[spoiler: he later meets Cherry Moon as a Jabber (a ghost that haunts its own corpse.) Stark learns that the ghost is killing sub rosa members called dreamers that hold reality together by well... dreaming. While being controlled by Teddy that became a ghoul because of a pact his grandfather made with Lucifer and Lula a skinhead and was a member Josef's group. (and was in love with him.) Aelita was the reason behind everything and when Stark used the "8-ball" on her she captured it and escaped with it. At the end Mr. Munnin becomes the new Lucifer and reintegrates "Saint James" back into Stark along with the key of thirteen doors.]]

''Kill City Blues:'' Taking place one month after the events in the last book. After surviving an attempt on his life, Stark, chases down the assassin only for him to walk into an oncoming bus.bus. During his investigation he finds out where Aelita hid the [[ArtifactOfDoom Qomrama Om Ya.]] (the "8-ball"). An abandoned run down shopping mall known as, Kill City, that infested by bottom-feeding Sub Rosa families, tribes of Lurkers, and the ghosts of former employees and construction workers that died the day Kill City collapsed. [[spoiler: When Stark and crew get there they find the mad ghost that was said to be guarding the "8-ball" in the roman baths. The mad ghost turns out to be one of the parts that split from god, Nefesh. After he tells Stark where the "8-ball" is, It is taken by Medea Bava of the Inquisition. She then calls Aelita who is [[DroppedABridgeOnHim then unceremoniously killed off by her with the "8-ball"]]. Medea Bava then reveals her true goal to use the Qomrama Om Ya to summon the Angra. But then Father Traven the sin-eater, hits her in the back of the head with a piece of concrete then dumps all of the sin he stored up into her. however he died during the process. Then Stark and crew have to escape a now collapsing Kill City as it slides into the Pacific Ocean.]]

''The Getaway God: Coming soon.''
----
!! This series provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Candy, Brigitte Bardo
* AdaptiveAbility: A side-effect of Stark's HealingFactor. Each time he recovers from an injury, enchanted scar tissue forms that makes the same attack to the same area far less effective the second time. He gets to use this power a lot.
* AffablyEvil: Mason, Josef and Lucifer.
* AllFirstPersonNarratorsWriteLikeNovelists:
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Kissi.
* AntiHero: Stark of course
* AssholeVictim
* BatmanGambit: Mason Faim's ''modus operandi''. Mason ordered Parker to kill Alice [[spoiler: so that Stark would tear a hole in the universe that would open the gates of Hell]]. Of course, the real plan was [[spoiler: to trick Stark into sending him to Hell so he could turn Lucifer's generals against him]].
* BecomingTheMask: It is revealed that [[spoiler: Alice]] was a MuggleBornOfMages hired to spy on Stark [[spoiler: before actually falling in love with him]].
* BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy: Francois Eugene Vidocq
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* BlackSpeech: Hellion. A language composed of unpleasant animal noises. According to Stark, it is almost impossible to say ''anything'' in Hellion that cannot be interpreted as a threat.
* BloodMagic: Stark uses it in ''Kill The Dead'' to add power to a spell.
* BloodyMurder: Stark's blood is poisonous in some cases due to the nature of his birth.
* BrickJoke: Functioning as BookEnds for the first trilogy. When Stark returned to Earth, the first he did was [[spoiler: attack Kasabian with the black bone blade, allowing him to decapitate the guy without killing him]]. In the last chapter of the third book, Stark realizes that the design specs of a hell-hound (basically, a four-legged [[spoiler: BrainInAJar]]) would be the perfect solution for [[spoiler: Kasabian's lack of a body or a proper body prosthesis]].
* AChatWithSatan: literally.
* CloningBlues:[[spoiler: God. He was once one being, but over the years he split into five separate beings Muinn, Neshamah, Ruach, Nefesh, and Chaya.]]
* CoolKey: The Key to The Room of 13 Doors -- it's the only way out of Hell, and Stark has it lodged in his heart. He doesn't need to actually pull it out and put it in a lock for it to work; he just has to step into a shadow, through the room, and from there through his door of choice.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Hi, Candy.
* CrapsackWorld
* DeaderThanDead: [[spoiler:To Dr. Kinski/Uriel or any one in Tartarus]]
** Doubly so for [[spoiler: those fed into the cosmic furnace in Tartarus]].
* DepletedPhlebotinumShells: Ammunition dipped in Spiritus Dei oil can kill pretty much anything.
* DrinkOrder: Aqua Regia. Neat.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Aelita in 'Kill City Blues']]
* EldritchAbomination: the Angra.
* EnemyWithin: [[spoiler: Stark's inner angel sometimes screams inside his head, he often ignores it. ]]
* EnemyWithout: [[spoiler: Stark's inner angel leaves Stark,(now called "Saint James") at the end of ''Aloha from Hell'' and screws things up in ''Devil Said Bang'']]
* EyeOfNewt: The basis of alchemy, [[spoiler: particularly the Drifer bite cure]].
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: So a ZombieApocalypse was narrowly averted. Half of Los Angeles was in flames. Fast forward six weeks and not a single {{Muggle}} has gone public with any solid evidence of what really happened. I guess it helps that [[spoiler: all the Drifters turned to ashes]].
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: When [[spoiler: Carlos meets Kasabian]].
--> [[spoiler: Carlos]]: Stark's told me about you, too."
--> Kasabian: Yeah? What's he said?
--> [[spoiler:Carlos]]:Well, I thought you'd be taller.
* FallenAngel: Hellions, which are the ones that got kicked out with Lucifer. Also [[spoiler:Kinski, AKA Uriel]].
* FantasticCatholicism
* FantasticRacism:
-->Aelita: Abomination!
* FirstEpisodeResurrection: Not ''technically'' dead, but the series starts off with missing-presumed-dead Stark crawling out of a cemetery after being in hell a good eleven years. Close enough.
* FirstPersonSmartass
* FlamingSword: All angels have this. In ''Kill The Dead'', [[spoiler: after Stark becomes a Drifter/Nephilim, he gains this in a fight with Aelita. Then lights a cigarette with it]]. In ''Aloha From Hell'', it is revealed that [[spoiler: certain Hellion generals (such as Mammon) have secretly retained their angelic ability to generate one of these]]. It turns out to be an AwkwardAbility when [[spoiler: Stark has to use one to win a death match in a Hellion arena]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Heaven and Hell are both scared shitless by this dude by the end of the book.
* GenocideBackfire: [[spoiler: Averted with Josef. In ''Aloha from Hell'']]
* AGodAmI: What Mason essentially wants. [[spoiler: Aelita, too.]]
* GodIsInept: The reason why the Kissi and Nephilim exist.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Stark is covered in scars from head to toe from his time fighting in the hell arena. He acquires some new ones earthside.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Stark is a cigarette smoker who is an example of both types, since he's technically a monster, but saved the world in the process.
* HalfHumanHybrid: [[spoiler: James Stark is revealed to be a nephilim (half-angel) this explains why he is such a badass]]
* [[AliensStealCable Hellions Steal Cable]]: And watch old Kung Fu movies like ''Bamboo House of Dolls''.
* InsistentTerminology: Stark is a magician, not a wizard. [[ThisIsReality Wizards are Harry Potter]].
* InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality: Before Stark went Downtown, his magic was far more versatile but hardly dangerous. Now, after eleven years in Hell, his magic isn't good for anything else besides hurting people and destroying things.
* [[spoiler: JackTheRipper]]: Stark meets [[spoiler: James Kelly]] when [[spoiler: he goes back to Hell]] in ''Aloha From Hell''.
* KryptoniteIsEverywhere: The Key to The Room of 13 Doors allows Stark to efficiently teleport between any two shadows ''in the entire known universe''. Yet, he can't ever seem to find a shadow when he needs a quick escape.
* KnightTemplar / TautologicalTemplar: Aelita, since she is an angel she also has an OmniscientMoralityLicense.
* UsefulNotes/LosAngeles: Where Sandman Slim's stomping grounds were and are again.
* LosingYourHead: Kasabian
* TheLostLenore: his girl is dead. Begin the revenge plot.
* MagicItems: Tons. From smart-ass Hellion coins that seem to know everything to [[DoomsdayDevice objects that could destroy the entire universe]], Munnin either has it laying around in his shop or knows where to find it. Not to mention a certain key tucked inside Stark's ribcage next to his heart.
* NayTheist: In ''Kill The Dead''
-->'''Stark (Narrating):''' ''If I was a religious man (and no, knowing there's a Heaven and Hell, God and devil and angels doesn't help being religious one little bit), I might take what I see as a sign.''
* NobleDemon: James says there are a few in hell. [[spoiler:Possibly Lucifer.]]
* NoManOfWomanBorn: It is said that [[spoiler: the leader of the Gobah]] cannot be killed by any human, angel, Lurker, demon or Hellion. [[spoiler: Stark notices that Nephilim isn't on that list]] and wisely deduces that [[spoiler: his status as "an abomination" makes him the exception]]. It turns out [[spoiler: he was right]].
* NotUsingTheZedWord: Stark and his people all refer to the walking dead as ''{{High Plains Drifter}}s'', or just Drifters.
** Or Zeds.
*** Or Zots.
* OmnicidalManiac: Stark seriously considers destroying all of creation before ultimately deciding against it. [[spoiler: Mason would've gone through with it.]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: A very strange case. Everybody called Stark Sandman Slim well before he ever heard the nickname. But he took it on with glee as time passed.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: Most of them are assholes.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: There are the [[FallenAngel Hellions]] and then there are demons, which are more like general negative-elemental-hungriness-monstrosies from beyond.
* OurLichesAreDifferent: The [[spoiler: Giestwalds]] bite there children at birth to become Death Born.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Zeds/Zots/High Plains Drifters/Zombies are the old fashioned mindless eating machines that shamble along, Laccuna are slightly more intelligent running zombies, Savants/Sapiens are intelligent and still retain a soul, and [[spoiler: the Geistwalds are kinda like vampire-zombie-liches]].
* ProfessionalKiller: for one of Satan's generals -- in between monster fighting in Hell for the amusement of the demonkind.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Mason tells this to Stark about why his former circlemates suck:
--> '''Stark:''' You want to rule this world, a not particularly great place, so you can take over an even worse place? Is that basically it? That why you ruined me, killed Alice, and fucked over everyone who ever trusted you?
--> '''Mason:''' Firstly, fuck all those people who trusted me. Except for Parker, every one of them was greedy and then turned jellyfish the moment you stuck your nose out of the grave. I gave all of them their heart's desire and they folded the moment things got a little weird.
--> '''Stark:''' You didn't exactly give Kasabian his heart's desire.
--> '''Mason:''' Yeah, I did sort of screw him, didn't I? But admit it. There's the opposite of love at first sight. There are people walking the earth that the moment you meet them, you want to punch them and keep punching them.
* {{Revenge}}: The reason Stark escaped hell.
* RunningGag: Stark is really hard on his clothes. Really, really hard on them.
* SassyBlackWoman: Allegra.
* ShoutOut: A psychic drug called Manga/{{Akira}}
** Also, a warrior angel named Aelita
** "Stark", "Parker", and "Mason" are all references to the works of Donald E. Westlake
* ShootTheDog: What [[spoiler: Parker and Mason]] do to [[spoiler: Alice]] and pretend to do to [[spoiler: Vidocq and Allegra. Later Alice reveals that she shot herself in order to prevent Mason from sending her to Hell like Stark.]]
* SimplifiedSpellcasting: Stark describes this as being good at bluffing his way through spells (he doesn't use the word "bluff" though). His freedom to forego the technical aspects of magic has often earned him [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer the envy, jealousy, fear and/or hatred of his fellow Sub Rosa]].
* SpinOffspring: Stark is apparently a descendant of Wild Bill Hickok.
* TheStoner: The three other employees of Max Overdrive Video, so faceless to Stark that he just calls them Dude (insert adjective here).
* ThatManIsDead: Literally. Stark was in hell 11 years and declared dead legally after 7. However, he also dislikes all the nicknames he was called by before he was sent to hell. Also [[spoiler: In kill the dead, this is what Angel!Stark says about human!Stark after getting bitten by a Drifter]].
* TrainingFromHell: in Stark's case it's training in hell.
* TrenchcoatBrigade: James Stark.
* UnscrupulousHero: Stark
* WeirdnessCensor: Aelita's team tends to rationalize the stuff that happens, but people still see what they want to see.
* WhipSword: The ''na'at'' is the Hellion version of this and Stark's WeaponOfChoice.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: Mason's revealed to have a pretty damn good FreudianExcuse in the third book. If Stark were to have followed through with his killswitch plan, he would've been one too.]]
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Vidocq characterizes the experiment that made him immortal as "an accident."
* WitchSpecies: The Sub Rosa are humans who are genetically predisposed towards magic. Magic only works for a human being if they are Sub Rosa. The one exception to this rule is alchemy. This type of magic is less about natural talent and more about EyeOfNewt dailed UpToEleven.
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: [[spoiler:Lucifer has one of these from when God gave him the boot]].
* ZombieApocalypse: Narrowly averted...except for LA, where it was quasi-apocalyptic.