Sandman Slim is a book series written by American novelist Richard Kadrey. He is a New York Times-bestselling author of fifteen novels, his other works include collaborative graphic novels and over 50 published short stories. Besides being a novelist, he is a freelance writer, and photographer.
His most successful franchise is the supernatural noir series about Sandman Slim, a half-human/half-angel magician. The first novel was published in 2009, after 12 more books and two short stories, the series ended in 2021.
Sandman Slim Series is about James “Sandman Slim” Stark and his adventures in Los Angeles, Hell, Heaven, and everything in between. The easiest way to navigate all of the tightly-knit plot lines and characters is to know the proper order of how to read them. In this article, you will find the reading order at a glance and why you should read it in that order, basically the short synopsis of every book. This is your ultimate guide for reading Sandman Slim Series.
Sandman Slim Books In Order At A Glance
In the Sandman Slim Series, we are taken on a journey of revenge by our narrator James “Sandman Slim” Stark, a half-human/half-angel magician who was trapped in Hell for eleven years, and now he returns to LA to exact revenge on those who sent him there. The best way to read the Sandman Slim series in release order is as follows:
- Sandman Slim (July 21, 2009)
- Kill the Dead (October 5, 2010)
- Aloha from Hell (October 18, 2011)
- Devil in the Dollhouse (July 31, 2012)
- Devil Said Bang (August 28, 2012)
- Kill City Blues (July 30, 2013)
- The Getaway God (August 26, 2014)
- Killing Pretty (July 28, 2015)
- The Perdition Score (June 28, 2016)
- The Kill Society (June 6, 2017)
- Hollywood Dead (August 28, 2018)
- Ballistic Kiss (August 25, 2020)
- King Bullet (August 17, 2021)
- A Sandman Slim Christmas Carol (December 20, 2021)
Richard Kadrey managed to get one book a year which makes it great to make a timeline for the reading order. On this list, only the book Devil in the Dollhouse, as the author puts it, is book 3.5 and A Sandman Slim Christmas Carol is a story that the author doesn’t want to tell us when it takes place in the timeline. But surely it is best to read the last written story last when you are familiar with the world of Sandman Slim. Let’s check out the detailed Sandman Slim reading order.
Sandman Slim Books In Order: Fully Explained
1. Sandman Slim (July 21, 2009)
In the first book in the series, we meet our narrator James “Sandman Slim” Stark, a half-human/half-angel magician, who spent eleven years in Hell as a Hitman. When he escapes he lands in Los Angeles and he is ready for revenge! He is an antihero who hates saving the world. This novel was a breakthrough for the author, it is dark, twisted, and hilarious.
2. Kill the Dead (October 5, 2010)
Stark, after crawling from Hell, spends his days bounty hunting, tracking, and decimating whoever he is paid to kill. After Lucifer is summoned to LA to be an advisor on a biopic of his life, Sandman Slim decides to accept Lucifer’s bodyguard. Lucifer also has a friend a very hot French porn star Brigitte bardo who helps break Stark’s eleven years of chastity. On top of all that, there is a zombie plague on the loose. After Stark is bitten, his human side dies, and an angel of death. Now he is faced with a choice if there is a cure for the zombie plague will he take it?
3. Aloha from Hell (October 18, 2011)
God decided to go on vacation, and now Lucifer decide to poke his nose in Paradise. So now Stark is stuck in a war between Heaven and Hell, plus there is a dangerous serial killer wreaking havoc on Earth. Stark is ready for some edgy, adrenaline-filled, and supernatural violence- he is even ready to pay Hell another visit.
4. Devil in the Dollhouse (July 31, 2012)
This is a short story that was first published only as an e-book and it is considered book number 3.5. It tells a story about Stark’s new job- being the new Lucifer. Now he has to prove himself on his new job, and he needs to put hideous massacres that happen on Hell’s frontier under control. Don’t get him wrong, the more dead Hellions the better, but he has to excerpt his power.
5. Devil Said Bang (August 28, 2012)
This fourth book in the Sandman slim series is all about Stark being the ruler of Underworld, the new Lucifer. But, then again he doesn’t like the course that his career has taken. Can he break out from Hell for the second time? Can he keep himself safe from all the vicious killers that only see the bullseye on his back? And in the end, the best way to prove that you are the fastest gun in the universe is to take down the new Lucifer. No top of all that Sandman Slim is starting to care about people and life again, which a not easy for a stone-cold killer.
6. Kill City Blues (July 30, 2013)
Stark escapes from Hell once again, he renounced his title as the ruler of the Underworld, and he is adjusting to his life in Los Angeles. But he made a mistake, he misplaces an ancient relic from the old gods, Qomrama Om Ya. The search takes him to an abandoned shopping mall, which is a copy of LA. But, this LA copy is full of Lurkers and dangerous squatters- Sub Rosa families. In the center of the kill zone is a dead man with the answers Stark needs. All he has to do is find the dead man, escape the mall alive and fight off some angry old gods and a few killers on the way. Sounds easy. Right?
7. The Getaway God (August 26, 2014)
LA is descending into madness with a new evil stalking the city- The Wildfire Ripper. This is Stark’s worst enemy, but also he might be the only person that knows how to save to world. No top of all that, he made some new enemies, and the worst ones are the vindictive Angra Om Ya, old gods that existed before God. And their imminent invasion is looming over the city.
8. Killing Pretty (July 28, 2015)
Death needs help. Someone tried to kill it by ripping its heart out. And now Death thinks the only (half) man who can help it solve the murder is James Stark aka Sandman Slim. The investigation leads him into a vampire-infested nightclub to Weimar Republic’s mystical societies. On his path, he meets a badass, mysterious girl with a pair of graveyard eyes- Candy. She is the only one who outsmarted death which lead to terrible consequences for the whole world and a few others. Do you dare to know what “go Jade” means?
9. The Perdition Score (June 28, 2016)
After a few months of normal life, finally James Stark gets a request that takes him back into action. Thomas Abbot, the Augur of the Sub Rosa council, asks him and Candy to investigate the disappearance of a young boy. The course of his mission changes, when he meets a dying angel with a vial of mysterious black liquid that can be a secret weapon in the war against rebel angels. After one of Stark’s closest friends is poisoned with the black liquid, Stark and Candy have to search for a cure that lay deep in Hell. Can he find the cure and make it back again all in one piece?
10. The Kill Society (June 6, 2017)
After Heaven and Hell and everything in between, Stark is now stuck in an unknown land far on the edge of Tenebrae, the home of the lost dead. On his way to the inland, he collided with a caravan of the damned led by the ruthless Magistrate. Heaven can sense Sandman Slim is close by, and angles put a big bounty on his head. In the end, there is nothing Stark can’t handle, but still, the smiling gang of the damned is trying to keep him in this unknown land forever. Will he be able to escape and fix the chaos he caused by trying to open Heaven? Plus, this book contains the first appearance in print of the short story “The Devil in the Dollhouse” which came out as an e-book in 2012.
11. Hollywood Dead (August 28, 2018)
To get back to LA, Stark had to make an unfavorable deal with the evil powerbroker, Wormwood. Now he’s but he is only partially alive. And his body now has limits, but still, he has to hunt down Wormwood’s enemies. To do he has to find help with some new friends and some old unexpected faces. Will he succeed this time with an enemy on the loose, a debt to pay, and a ticking clock?
12. Ballistic Kiss (August 25, 2020)
The war between angels is still raging. And now, LA is infested with ghosts. The only man who can save the city from them is the half-human/half-angel magician, James “Sandman Slim” Stark. The solution may lay in the unsolved murder of a small-time actor in the 1970s. Stark is now in the race with time to connect the dots between the Zero Lodge, a dangerous club, and a missing angel last seen in a Hollywood porn palace. In the end, the thing Stark is most worried about is that without his help the war in Heaven will rage forever.
13. King Bullet (August 17, 2021)
This is an incredible finale to this supernatural series. The world is going to shit, just like his professional and personal life. LA is in quarantine plagued with a viral pandemic and everybody is wearing masks and distancing themselves. But, the most frightening thing is the rise of a new Shoggot gang leader, King Bullet. The only thing we know about him is that he is enjoying the city’s collapse- chaos, and destruction. But the King is hiding much darker intentions not only for the city, but also for Heaven, Hell, and Stark himself.
14. A Sandman Slim Christmas Carol (December 20, 2021)
Even though the series came to an end, the author felt like he had one more story bout Sandman Slim to share. This story takes place a long time before the last book, but the author won’t reveal exactly when, because it doesn’t matter. All you have to know is, that the story takes place earlier in the series when Stark and Candy were in love and things were simpler than they were at the very end. This story can only be found as an e-book.
Do You Need To Read Sandman Slim Series In Order?
Yes, I would definitely recommend reading Sandman Slim Series in its release order. Everything that happens to our half-angelic antihero happens in chronological order. Even the short stories best fit into the over-arching story in release order.