Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dead Streets by Tim Waggoner

Have I mentioned that the people over at Angry Robot books are just too cool?   I'm sure I've mentioned how much I like this publisher and how much I like their books......

I had posted a while back about Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner.  This is the first book featuring Matt Richter ("Matt Richter.  Private Eye.  Zombie.").    The folks at Angry Robot were kind enough to send me a copy of Dead Streets, the second book in the series, and I just finished it.....   yes, yes, this is a great book.   And I totally resent that I'm going to have to wait to get these into my library (we can only order US publications, and these are still British).....

Here's the summary, courtesy of Angry Robot Books: " Meet Matt Richter. Private eye. Zombie.
His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. In book one of the series, Richter battled werewolves, vampire lords and gigantic silverfish!
That was nothing to the trouble waiting for him on Nekropolis’ Dead Streets…  "

And here are my thoughts:   This might not sound like much, but this book, and the one before it, are seriously funny, and seriously good.   Waggoner has created a horrifying, yet entertaining, world called Nekropolis, where your very nightmares just might be living beings, and you never know just what's going to leap out from around a corner.   Matt Richter, isn't your average private dick.  He's a dead dick.  Ok -- just realized that might not have come out right.  Let's try this again.   Matthew Richter is a private eye who works in Nekropolis.  And he happens to be a zombie.  Who answers to no one.   Well, actually, in this book, I believe he answers to his girlfriend, half-vampire Devona, but you know what I mean: Matt's no one's average undead puppet, stumbling around looking for brains.   He's got street-smarts and tricks up his sleeves to help him solve some of the most heinous of crimes being committed in Nekropolis.   This time around, he's got a little help, not only from Devona, but from a few other friends, including some we met in the previous book.    In this story, Matt loses his head.  Literally.  And if that weren't injury enough, someone uses his body to commit a serious crime.  Now, he's got his head back on, but he's running out of time to figure out who the real criminal is.

As I said, this is one hell of a story.  There's so much creativity at work here, I don't know how it all fits within this book.  In addition to well-written main characters, the world of Nekropolis, a character unto itself, is simply amazing.   In this story, we encounter none other than Dr. Frankenstein -- and the scene where we meet him is just too funny.  "Henry escorted us deeper into the Foundry and before long, we began encountering other employees.  Some were merely odd - like the wild-haired, wild-eyes man in a white lab coat who kept telling a pop-eyed hunchback in a black cloak that his name was supposed to be pronounced 'Fronk-en-steen,' along with the handsome young man with curly black hair wearing a corset, fishnet stockings, 70s glam-rock boots, and far too much makeup."  (p. 124)  Am I the only one hearing "Time Warp" right now?  I don't think so.    And it just keeps getting better.   Tim Waggoner's a great storyteller -- and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

And one last word about Nekropolis.....  let's just think about what it's like from this little quote, shall we?   "I'd have asked for a lawyer, but it wouldn't have done any good.  There aren't any in Nekropolis.  As far as the Darkfolk are concerned, lawyers just slow down the swift course of justice.  Besides, they're too scary, even for Nekropolis."   (p. 152)


Amanda Makepeace said...

I've been curious about this series, thanks for the great review. I wonder if this is going to be an ongoing series or just a trilogy...

Tim Waggoner said...

Hi, Amanda! Right now only three books are planned, but if they sell well in the USA then there's a good chance the publisher will ask me to write more.

Amanda Makepeace said...

Thank you for the head's up! :D

Jen said...

Can I just say how honored I am by that second comment appearing here??!!!

Jen said...

And am now hoping that what I wrote was ok ..... absolutely love these two books and can't wait for a third.

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