Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim Series #3)

Aloha from Hell - Richard Kadrey After reading Kill the Dead, I was really hoping that Aloha from Hell would redeem the story of Sandman Slim for me. It was certainly a better book than the second book in the series; however, that doesn't make this an exciting read at all. At best all I can say about this book is that it didn't bore me, but it certainly didn't excite me, or encourage me to read any other books in the series. I almost feel as though he is bored with his own series.This entire story has been leading up to Stark's confrontation with Mason, his arch enemy. The real war between the two began when Mason killed, Stark's girlfriend Alice, and then sent Stark to live in hell for over a decade. Mason however is motivated to destroy the universe because he was tortured as a child. Apparently, it was not enough for him to achieve his vengeance on those who wronged him, but the entire world has to pay for his hurt. For all of the havoc that the two have caused across the universe, it seems that the relationship between Stark and Mason comes down to a pissing contest. Really? I know that we have a male protagonist, but would it have been so hard to come up with a more substantial foundation than a juvenile pissing contest? I also think it is worth mentioning that it took three books to get to the point where Mason and Stark finally resolved their issues and quite frankly, it was anti-climactic and felt more like a set up for a fourth book in this series.The one thing that Aloha from Hell has going for it, is that unlike Sandman Slim and Kill the Dead, it is not as littered with as many problematic failures. The word lame several times which is of course an ableist slur, and women are referred to with reductive language; however, that is still an improvement. The cast still remains White and straight however. It seems that diversity is just one leap Kadrey is as of yet unwilling to make. I suppose what I don't understand how a writer can create a world with all manner of angels, demons and Lucifer himself, but cannot imagine a single marginalized body in his narrative. The closet this series comes to a disabled character is Kasabian - a man without a body. I suppose I should just be thankful that he has at least stopped using gay slurs to attack straight men. Read more