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Read Butcher Bird: A Novel Of The Dominion (2007)

Butcher Bird: A Novel of The Dominion (2007)

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3.8 of 5 Votes: 1
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1597800864 (ISBN13: 9781597800860)
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Butcher Bird: A Novel Of The Dominion (2007) - Plot & Excerpts

I felt like I am part of the target audience for this book. On the other hand, I felt like the book did a bit too much poking about that: “Hey! This is a book just for people like you! Who like tattoos! And bars! And are into mythology and fantasy! You’re badass and cool! Check it out!” Yeah, ok. Unfortunately, I sort of felt like the ‘cool’ stuff was a veneer laid over a fairly typical and not-that-riveting quest fantasy. Who the characters were didn’t really affect or inform what happened to them.Spyder, a tattoo artist, is hanging out in a San Francisco rock & roll bar with his lesbian buddy Lulu when he gets attacked by a demon. He’s rescued by a blind ninja swordswoman, (Shrike, the ‘Butcher Bird’ of the title) but after the attack realizes that he can now see the supernatural reality that most humans are unaware of. The streets of SanFran are filled with grotesque and bizarre beings; and even if this sight could be viewed as a gift, it feels more like going crazy.For reasons that seem somewhat contrived, Spyder, Lulu and Shrike have to band together for a quest through Hell to retrieve a McGuffin, in return for which a probably-evil witch has promised to help them. Along the way, there are some vivid and memorable scenes - I’d say the visuals are the best part of this book. (Some had a very Gaiman-esque feel). However, the plot itself just didn’t have the tension I felt it ought to have had.I did enjoy the book – I just didn’t feel like it lived up to its full potential. I believe this was the author’s first novel; I’d definitely be willing to try another by him.

I had no idea what this book was about when I opened it and I've not read a lot of urban fantasy stuff. I read it simply for the cover. The cover art was beautiful.My favorite part of stories is the characters. I want to know who they are and I want to hear their voices. I fell in love with Lulu and Spyder within the first two pages. I love the dialogue and mechanics between them. I knew who they were and how close they were from the very first chapter. I loved watching Spyder develop through the course of his journey. In short, I just loved the characters all over the place and I loved the dialogue. For me, the characters were what made the story and I hate it when authors don't give us a good image of them. Kadrey did that without an overabundance of description and managed in just a few pages what so my other authors take entire books to do. This book also did not leave me hanging with more questions than answers.I also very much liked the writing style. This book was a fast, fun read and being prone to anxiety attacks, I was very happy that I had very few of them when worrying about the characters. I also tried to predict the importance and fates of some of the characters only to be pleasantly surprised that I was utterly wrong.The characterization of Lucifer and his relationship to the characters had me all but jumping up and down in my seat, I was so excited.I loved this book so much that I'm now hunting down Kadrey's other works.

What do You think about Butcher Bird: A Novel Of The Dominion (2007)?

You can see the beginning of Sandman Slim in this novel as it follows the same themes. I love Kadreys writing style and the imaginative settings and characters, but sometimes the plot seems secondary.This is subtitled "A Novel of the Dominion" but I'm not sure if there's any more stories of Spyder, Shrike and Lulu. An urban fantasy universe is set up well but perhaps Sandman took over.To summarise the plot: Spyder, a tatooist, and Lulu, his BFF and the one who handles piercing in their partnership are quietly getting drunk in a seedy bar when Spider slips out to the alley to relieve himself. Unknown to him one of the sigils he had tattooed on himself is of a demon, who attacks him, but luckily he is saved by Shrike - a blind swordswoman.Unfortunately the aftermath of the attack shows Spyder the real truth of things and the world no longer appears as normal as it once was. He is quickly entwined in a plot involving a varied cast of characters ending in hell itself...Yeah, I'd like more, but treated as an earlier work you can kind of see how Sandman Slim was born. Entertaining and imaginative: 4.5/5
—Stuart Reid

Although I normally enjoy traditional fantasy books, urban fantasy is more hit-or-miss for me. In my somewhat limited experience, urban fantasy books often have less clearly-defined world building and more of what feels to me like inexplicable chaos. I prefer the worlds I read about to have clear rules and logical, consistent cause-and-effect relationships. This helps me feel like I understand everything that’s going on. Sometimes, when I read an urban fantasy novel, I think to myself, “This must be what it feels like to be on drugs.”Butcher Bird had some of that inexplicable chaos. Scenes were described that contained a mish-mash of crazy and random imagery, and events occurred that weren’t entirely explained. There were chapters throughout the book that dealt with the mythology which helped serve as an explanation for many of the things that occurred in the main story, but there were still some unanswered questions and some “huh?” moments, especially near the climax of the story.In spite of that, I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it’s because I thought the story was so interesting, or maybe I was just in the right frame of mind to not be bothered by a little chaos. Most likely it was a combination of those two things. In any case, I had trouble putting the book down. I kept wanting to read “one more chapter” to find out what would happen next. The characters were also interesting and likeable, if a little messed up in the head!

I want to see pulp authors Richard Kadrey and Charlie Huston battle each other to see who is really the reigning king of the super-gritty urban supernatural thriller. I imagine the pre-fight insults would be epic, but I also wouldn't rule out the possibility that things would devolve into a slap-fight pretty quickly. Both authors play on my inner violence-monger and their noir-esque dialog leaves me giddy. Butcher Bird follows the adventures of Spyder Lee as he discovers a secret world in the shadows of his own, meets a pretty blind warrior girl and journeys into hell. If you've read the Sandman Slim series, this book will seem vaguely familiar. They aren't set in the same universe, but the universes are definitely close cousins. My one complaint is the climax. While satisfying, it felt very abrupt.

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