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City of the Lost by Stephen Blackmoore
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City of the Lost

by Stephen Blackmoore

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission. Title: City of the Lost Series: ----- Author: Stephen Blackmoore Rating: 2 of 5 Stars Genre: Urban Fantasy Pages: 225 Format: Kindle digital edition Synopsis: Joe Sunday, low life thug for hire, does a job and is killed because of it. He is resurrected by the man who killed him. What follows is a whole lot of pulp noir with magic. A wizard who wants to live forever. His scorned girlfriend. Joe Sunday, zombie PI and some do gooder of a witch who just wants to help all the poor little vampires who have bad diseases from feeding on other lowlifes. Everything revolves around a magic stone. Serious as serious can be. My Thoughts: The first 10% of this book was so filled with profanity that not only did I create a new shelf labeled "Profanity" but was about to dnf it. I don't need this kind of *&^%$#@! in my reading life! If you don't get that, please look up "irony" in the dictionary. However, after that 10% mark, it just dropped off. I have no idea why or what caused the initial vomital sludge but it did stop being an issue. It did set the tone for the book though. I am not a fan of pulp noir. Detectives and thugs who are as bad as the ones they are crossing are not the kind of character I really like to read about. I am also not a fan of urban fantasy [with a few exceptions], so this mash up was pretty much the worst of both worlds for me. It was engaging enough that I did want to know how it ended and I finished this. However, I'll probably be avoiding future works by Mr. Blackmoore on general principle. " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
A bloody fun whodunnit that should be the first in a series. I like that the "hero" was a bad guy. Fans of Anita Blake might enjoy this one.

I winced so hard at the protagonist's treatment of and thought processes around a sex worker that he encountered. That was very problematic for me. Same for another character who was extremely short. I'm also not a fan of the 20-something PYT being a prize at the end.

I was surprised at the above since I follow the author on Twitter, and he seems to be pretty socially aware. I'm not sure if it was just the character thinking like this (because there were other references that were more respectful), or if the author's own thought processes have changed. ( )
  wosret | Jun 10, 2016 |
City of the Lost
By Stephen Blackmoore
Publisher: Daw Books
Published In: New York City, NY, USA
Date: 2012
Pgs: 217

REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Summary:
A thug, a leg breaker, this is the hero. He’s caught up in something way beyond his ken and far away from his normal life. His partner gets sent out on a job to take care of some things for their boss. An easy job turned bad and his partner, his friend got killed. Only a day later, when he calls his partner’s widow to express his condolences, his partner is at home sitting on his sofa. From there, Joe Sunday’s normal everyday world slips down the rabbit hole as an ancient power stone, zombies, immortals, Nazis, razor toothed midgets, demon bartenders, and homeless vampire junkies appear on the periphery of his life and he is drawn into a web of occult happenings going on just beyond the pale of modern life. Joe has to find the power stone. In the course of these events, he got himself killed, but he hasn’t fallen down yet. Only thing is, he’s beginning to rot and the only thing that can stop it is the power stone...that or a healthy dose of brains...hearts...whatever.

Genre:
fiction, occult, horror, zombie

Why this book:
The blurb on the back was pure crack. I was half sucked in before I cracked the spine.

This Story is About:
standing up to power, doing the right thing, figuring out which hand is holding the knife

Favorite Character:
Joe Sunday is an awesome character.

But so is the demon nympho bartender, Darius.

Least Favorite Character:
N/A

Character I Most Identified With:
Joe is the narrator. I got sucked into his world view.

The Feel:
There is a feel that Joe isn’t going to be able to get through the miles and miles of darkness that are pitted against him. Layers and layers on top of more layers hiding the truth from him.

Favorite Scene:
From the opening when Sunday meets Julio in the bar to the ending where Darius provides Joe with a drink in the denouement, this book is full of great scenes.

Rioting homeless vampires.

When Giavetti shoots Joe in the head...the first time.

When Archie and Jughead show up for the first time.

When Carl wakes up with a third eye...permanently on his forehead.

Samantha and her whole Veronica Lake vibe.

Settings:
Los Angeles

Pacing:
The pace of this is awesome, real page turner.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
I don’t like the way that Darius and Joe leave it with his owing Darius an unnamed favor. Feels like a half hearted way to say, I want to write more stories with these characters. Instead of teasing it that way, he should’ve just done it.

Last Page Sound:
That’s cool.

Author Assessment:
I would definitely read more stuff by Blackmoore.

Editorial Assessment:
Very well edited. Fairly tight all the way through.

Did the Book Cover Reflect the Story:
The pic of Sunday with a hole blown in him is great. Wish he was a bit less Stallone, Willis, Sshwarzeneggar and a bit more Bogart, Spencer Tracey, Edward G. Robinson looking.

Hmm Moments:
So many...so, so many.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
instant classic

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library, but I need to get a copy of this to put on my bookshelf to keep.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
This would make an awesome movie.

Casting call:
David Spade could play Danny, Simon’s sycophant 2nd in command.
Anthony Hopkins would be incredible as Giavetti. John Billingsley would make an incredible 2nd choice.
Josh Holloway, Alex O’Loughlin, David Boreanaz...any one of the three could make an awesome Joe Sunday,

Would recommend to:
friends, family, colleagues, everyone, genre fans ( )
  texascheeseman | Mar 7, 2014 |
Joe Sunday always figured his life would end violently. After all, when your occupation is thug for hire to a mid-level mafioso things tend to get pretty nasty at times, even if you are working the glamour filled streets of L.A., not the mean streets of New York or Chicago.

What he couldn’t possibly have realized, however, was that when he finally was killed, well, that he wouldn’t stay dead.

Sunday does realize something is very wrong with his latest assignment, especially when the guys his boss previously sent out on the job either turned up dead or not at all. So when he and his partner, Julio, fail in their attempt to obtain the specific item they were sent to retrieve – a gemstone of indeterminate origin – he figures at least they’re ahead of the game by still being alive. That is until Julio unexpectedly, and quite violently, kills himself in front of Sunday.

When Sunday seeks answers from his boss, he’s informed that the man they tried to steal the stone from has been alive for far longer than should be possible, especially since Sunday’s boss claims to have personally killed him decades ago. The stone isn’t a jewel, he tells Sunday, but an ancient object that has the power to grant immortality. Riiight. Just as Sunday’s about to write off his boss as a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal, he gets a frantic call from Julio’s widow asking for Joe’s help. Seems Julio is home and acting odd. Considering Sunday just watched Julio kill himself only hours ago, he finds that quite odd indeed.

Welcome to author Stephen Blackmoore’s L.A., the City of the Lost, a place where the magic that occurs isn’t accomplished by computer geeks in the offices of Industrial Light & Magic or Pixar.

No, as Sunday’s plunged into a race to obtain the coveted stone, which has gone missing, he discovers there’s magic everywhere as he finds himself pitted against a ruthless former Nazi doctor turned wizard, a bewitching femme fatale with unknown motives, a brassy young bruja (witch) on a mission to save wayward magical creatures (such as the city’s largely homeless vampire population), an interdimensional overly licentiousness demon, and that impossibly old man who originally owned the stone and who now desperately wants it back.

And did I mention the steroid freak enforcer who has a shark-toothed pet midget on a leash? Yeah, there’s that too. Oh, and Sunday gets killed. Kinda. Turns out that Nazi doctor/wizard has been practicing that immortality thing on others in attempt to perfect it, only he hasn’t quite got it down. Now Sunday’s a card-carrying member of the undead, one who needs to feed every 24 hours, give or take, in order to stay alive… or undead, as the case may be.

You’d think at this point putting a fresh spin on the zombie/magic genres would be hard to do, but Blackmoore has done it with such ease one wonders if he’s not dipping into a source of magic himself. Considering nearly every character in the book is something other than entirely human, it’s amazing how, well, human Blackmoore has made them. Sunday is more wisecracking hardboiled detective than shambling brain eater, the bruja more prone providing clean needles to vampires than putting curses on people, and even that interdimensional demon is more interested in doing than nasty than being nasty. Indeed, it’s the ordinariness that Blackmoore infuses into the extraordinary that truly makes City of the Lost so magical.

Forget the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, it’s Blackmoore’s supernatural L.A. that I want to visit, with Joe Sunday as my tour guide. Hopefully we’ll all get to do so again in the very near future. ( )
  AllPurposeMonkey | Apr 19, 2012 |
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2011/12/early-review-city-of-the-lost-by-stephen-bl...

Whew! Lemme tell ya, if you’re in the mood for some down and dirty noir action with your supernatural fun, City of the Lost is where it’s at! Joe Sunday is your all around tough-as-nails L. A. enforcer who knocks heads and makes a pretty good living at it. All of this comes to a rather abrupt hault when his main employer hires him to knock off someone that is way off the normal meter. When he witnesses his best friend and co-worker kill himself (in a rather spectacular way), he knows things are a bit…off kilter. Sure enough, his newest mark is out for blood, and takes Joe out. But wait, Joe’s not dead. Now, Joe is a zombie; not the rambling, rotting type, but if he doesn’t do certain, er, things, the rotting definitely will commence, unless he gets his hands on a stone that may hold the key to immortality.

Told in Joe’s wry voice, City of the Lost grabs you hard on page one and keeps you rapt until the last page. Backed by a supporting cast including a young bruja that counts a bar tending demon as a friend, and a cop with is own agenda, Joe must fine the stone and figure out how to fix his little problem, before it fixes him. On his tail is an ancient man that’s been chasing the stone’s secret for hundreds of years, a beautiful woman that he may or may not be able to trust, a Nazi doctor that wants the stone for his own, and his henchmen, a skull cracker that has a sharp-toothed midget (we’re not talking human here) on a leash. Stephen Blackmoore writes like an old pro, and doesn’t flinch from some of the more violent characteristics of his anti-hero. He’s really, really good at writing gray characters, and yet manages to infuse his creations with humanity, even if they aren’t themselves human, which is a neat trick. City of the Lost is fast paced, funny, scary, at times, charming, and I couldn’t put it down. If you love the novels of Richard Kadray (Sandman Slim), Hank Schwaeble (Jake Hatcher series), and Steve Niles’ Cal McDonald series, then you’ll LOVE City of the Lost. What a way to start out the new year! This is a 2012 debut you won’t want to miss! ( )
  MyBookishWays | Dec 27, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0756407028, Paperback)

Joe Sunday has been a Los Angeles low-life for years, but his life gets a whole lot lower when he is killed by the rival of his crime boss-only to return as a zombie. His only hope is to find and steal a talisman that he learns can grant immortality. But, unfortunately for Joe, every other undead thug and crime boss in Los Angeles is looking for the same thing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:29 -0400)

Returning as a zombie after being bumped off by a rival crime boss, Joe Sunday tries to locate a talisman that can grant immortality before every other thug in Los Angeles can find it.

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