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City of the Lost (Daw Book Collectors) Paperback – 3 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Daw Books; 1 edition (3 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756407028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756407025
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 716,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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 immortali

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this book! Very well written thriller and action book. The story revolves around a stone that can grant immortality but only if it is used correctly. Joe has the unfortunate luck of being caught up in this struggle for the stone and becomes an undead who needs to feed on a heart every day to survive unless he can get hold of this stone. The main protagonists are a woman who has lived a long life, the man who comes to town looking for the stone and has some incredible powers, a nazi wizard and his bodyguard who has a razor toothed midget for company and a very powerful witch who has a demon in the basement. all of whom want the stone for one reason or another and its upto Joe to decipher the picture and who he can trust and cant. Add the cops and the local gangsters and it all adds to an all action blockbuster of a book. If i have one criticism of the book its that the ending is kinda short, the action between the two main characters tame and ends very abruptly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A rip-roaring zombie noir debut! 3 Jan. 2012
By MyBookishWays - Published on
Format: Paperback
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 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 his 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!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Saturday Matinee 5 Mar. 2012
By Steve Weddle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is chock-full of so many fantastic characters, it's tough to know where to start.

Tough-guy Joe Saturday finds himself kinda undead, or at least unkillable, and in the middle of a centuries-long quest for a magical stone. If this were all there were to the book, it would be a matinee of great fun, maybe one of those odd movies on the sci-fi channel every so often. But this book is so much more than that -- thanks to a well developed and detailed cast of characters -- the cool, demon bartender; the hippie/Red Cross-ish vampire, the Nazi wizard.

The story is so full of momentum, you'll be carried along with everyone else. Great stuff.

Here's hoping this is the first in a long series.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A stunning debut! 17 Feb. 2012
By CFH - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I blurbed this book. Even fuller disclosure: I blurbed this book because I was lucky enough to read it early, and it totally blew me away.

The LA Blackmoore conjures in his novel is at once nightmarish and utterly believable. His characters are so well drawn, you'll see 'em when your eyes are closed. And my God, what a story.

If you dig old-fashioned pulp, or tales about the seamy side of the City of Angels, this book is for you. If you dig zombies and magical McGuffins, this book is for you. But those may damn it with faint praise. The fact is, this is a cracking good book, and if you're a fan of cracking good books, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today. Oh, and clear your schedule, 'cause once you start, there's no turning back...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I'm in Love With a Zombie Named... Joe! 17 Feb. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've never met a zombie that I didn't like.

That is so not true. Zombies are gross, disgusting. They stink like rotten meat baking in the desert sun, and they're always oozing all kinds of bodily fluids while dripping flesh all over the freakin' place.

I've never met a zombie that didn't make me puke... would be more accurate.

Well, not until I met Joe Sunday, that is!

One look at the cover for City Of The Lost and I knew, just knew, that I was going to fall in love with Joe Sunday. I mean, come on... look at him. Look. At. Him. He's a hottie... with a perfectly kissable jaw line, messed up hair that my fingers long to touch, eyebrows with a sexy but distinctive arch, and a hole in his chest large enough to see the street lamp just down the road from where he's standing.

Yeah, about that -

Joe Sunday is your average "leg-breaker for hire," the kind of guy that most of us wouldn't date, and definitely not the kind of guy that if you did choose to date, you'd take home to meet your Mamma. We first meet up with Joe at Henry's Bar and Grill checking up on his friend, and coworker, Julio. Julio had been sent by their back-stabbing boss, Simon, to retrieve an ancient stone from some guy named Giavetti. But ever since meeting with Giavetti, Julio's been acting a little strange. Mumbling about his hands not being his hands, breaking his bottle of beer, attacking the bartender, attacking Joe, and ending the very first scene in this novel by jamming the broken bottle into his throat and... dying, I'd say Julio isn't quite himself anymore.

Now, Julio's behavior and death doesn't just have Joe asking questions, it has his boss, Simon, confessing to knowing and killing Giavetti back in his younger days. After telling some pretty unbelievable stories, Simon puts Joe in charge of getting rid of this Giavetti guy, finding the stone, and breaking the news to Julio's wife about Julio's death. That last part would have been easy to do had Julio not shown up at his home as a newly risen member of the walking dead, and a puppet being pulled by the tight strings of Giavetti.

After walking into a world of chaos and total disbelief, Joe finds himself battling it out with Julio, losing his life, waking to find himself the best zombie Giavetti has ever created, and on the hunt for an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality.

In this story you'll read about the one thing Joe needs to eat every day to keep from rotting; a social-working witch that wants to save all the little, not-so-human misfits in Los Angeles; an incredibly crazy Nazi wizard named Dr. Neumann, who happens to know the secrets behind the ancient stone's power; a midget with razor-sharp teeth; a demon tending bar that likes to talk in riddles; an officer seeking revenge; the truth behind Giavetti's beauty secrets; and a beautiful woman named Samantha Morgan... holding one hell of a grudge.

And the stone - wanted by all the characters cast in this deliciously written book - not only has the power to grant immortality to those that seek it, but has the power to destroy the magical world Mr. Blackmoore has so perfectly hidden in plain sight within the City of Angels. Some want the stone to save others. Some want the stone so they can live forever. And one person is willing to do anything to use the stone for the purpose of destroying another... even if it means killing Joe Sunday in the process.

While there might not be any love scenes in City Of The Lost, there's definitely enough sexual tension between Joe Sunday and Samantha Morgan for Joe Sunday to be add to my list of Favorite Men! I mean, honestly, I'd gladly let Joe Sunday eat the heart out of my chest... as long as he doesn't shoot me in the head and have my body crushed into pulp at a gravel quarry. Well, actually, knowing me... I'd probably give my heart to him anyway.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Debut Novel 22 Jan. 2012
By Joshua Palmatier - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the debut novel for Stephen Blackmoore and I dare say it won't be his last. City of the Lost is being described a detective noir with zombies by some. I haven't read much noir detective fiction, so I can't and won't on whether it fits that bill, but I can comment on it as an urban fantasy with a rather hardcore "detective" as the main character . . . who just happens to become a zombie.

The premise is that Joe Sunday is a thug, hired to break legs for his mobster/hoodster boss, Simon. Simon hires some croonies to steal a strange stone, but the croonies all end up dead, so Simon sends Joe to take out the man Simon thinks did it and stole the stone. Joe thinks its a run-of-the-mill job, until he ends up dead . . . and is brought back to life by the man he was supposed to kill using the stone. Now, in order to keep from rotting and eating people's hearts to rejuvenate himself, Joe needs the stone. With it, he won't need to kill to stay in one piece. All he has to do is find it and keep his hands on it, which is harder than it seems since it appears everyone with any magical talent whatsoever in the LA area is out to get it.

I like the idea of the book, and enjoyed the combination of urban fantasy and mystery elements. Joe Sunday isn't someone that you'd normally empathize with, but you do in the end. The novel is dark and brutal, which you'd expect from someone who is essentially a hitman. Joe doesn't waste time when violence is necessary, and he isn't afraid to hurt people to get what he wants. So the book is violent, with its fair share of blood and guts. In general, there is no blurring of the details for these scenes, although it isn't gratuitous in any way. (For example, when Joe's new urges for hearts rears its ugly head, the hardcore reality of what he's doing is skipped over and left to the imagination.) But it's still pretty dark.

There's a large slew of rather interesting characters after the stone as well, which certainly gave the book a unique flavor. A few of them were over-the-top. But you need a good cast of characters to keep the waters of the mystery itself muddy and Stephen Blackmoore does that well. By the time the real mystery begins to unravel and play out, you can see how all of the threads are coming together, including all of the things you should have noticed as you were reading (the answers to all the questions you should have asked along the way now obvious).

So, a good mystery novel wrapped around a believable zombie origin story. For those who cringe from blood and violence, this is not your book, although I didn't think what's in here was gratuitous or over-the-top. It's a dark novel, with dark characters, but certainly a novel I'd recommend for those who enjoy a good, bloody zombie book. I'm not certain there's a sequel planned, but I'd buy it when it comes out, just to see what Joe Sunday does now that he's undead.
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