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Dead Set [Hardcover]

Richard Kadrey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 13.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Oct 2013

The New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series delivers a wonderful stand-alone dark fantasy in which a young girl is caught between the worlds of the living and the dead.

After her father's funeral, Zoe moved to the big city with her mother to start over. But change always brings trials, and life in the city is not so easy. Money is tight, and Zoe's only escape, as has always been the case, is in her dreams—a world apart from her troubled real life where she can spend time with her closest companion: her lost brother, Valentine.

But something or someone has entered their dreamworld uninvited. And a chance encounter at a used record store, where the vinyl holds not music but lost souls, has opened up a portal to the world of the restless dead. It's here that the shop's strange proprietor offers Zoe the chance to commune with her dead father. The price? A lock of hair. Then a tooth. Then . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Dead Set + Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim 5)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (29 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062283014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062283016
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 14.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 815,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


“A dark and eerie world, a razor sharp plot, and a heroine worth rooting for make DEAD SET unforgettable.” (Kami Garcia)

“If punk and underworld mythology got into the mosh pit, it would come out something like this book; spiky and pretty with lashings of black eyeliner and its heart tattooed on its sleeve.” (Lauren Beukes)

“A fantastic supernatural horror novel with deep punk roots ... Kadrey’s underworld is a gloomy mirror of the overworld with all its injustice and broken dreams, and Zoe’s battle with her fear and her honorable spirit put her in enough jeopardy for six novels. (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)

“Kadrey again has painted a world that draws you in with its mysterious, yet frightening, beauty…The imagery is just phenomenal.” (Crimespree Magazine)

“An intelligent stand-alone tale of quiet horror that should appeal to Kadrey’s many fans, as well as to lovers of more subtle shivers.” (Library Journal)

“This bittersweet and elegaic fantasy will appeal to both fantasy fans and mainstream readers.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A tender, if terrifying, story of a lost teenager trying to find her way.” (Los Angeles Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey has published nine novels, including Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, Devil Said Bang, Kill City Blues, Dead Set, Butcher Bird, and Metrophage. He has been immortalized as an action figure, his short story "Goodbye Houston Street, Goodbye" was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award, and his novel Butcher Bird was nominated for the Prix Elbakin in France. A freelance writer and photographer, he lives in San Francisco, California.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read 19 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It felt like there was not much going on but also felt that that it would lead on to a second book. Over all is still good read and quick to finish.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Set by Richard Kadrey 29 Oct 2013
By Star @ The Bibliophilic Book Blog - Published on Amazon.com
Zoe is a character I think we all can relate to in some way: she's mourning her father, angry about having to move, and she's lonely. Her one true friend is her dream-brother, Valentine, who she visits every night. However, something new has invaded their dream world and is starting to affect Zoe's waking world. When Zoe ditches school and wanders aimlessly, she comes upon an old record shop. Now, as her parents were both into music and art, she's drawn in and stumbles onto a very special section of the store. For the right price, Zoe can see her father again...

I absolutely adore the Sandman Slim novels, so when I saw Mr. Kadrey had written a YA novel I was super excited. Mix Gaiman and de Lint with the special Kadrey touch and you have `Dead Set'. With exquisite world-building, well-defined characters, and a beautifully seamless blend of ancient mythology and modern life, 'Dead Set' does not disappoint! As we walk beside Zoe in her travels, we are introduced to the hidden world of Iphigene where the restless dead are ruled by the iron fist and decayed heart of its queen. Zoe brings a ray of hope to a world resigned to its fate and her journey begins to heal not only herself, but the whole of Iphigene. `Dead Set' is a treasure I will enjoy reading many times over!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and entertaining. 7 Nov 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dead Set is a slightly different tale from Richard Kadrey, different than his Sandman Slim stories.

The story is about Zoe, a teenager who has lost her father recently. She's living in an apartment in San Francisco with her mother and the situation is not great. They're both in a period of mourning and their home life is in flux. Zoe is attending a new school away from her friends and adrift. She happens to wander past an odd record shop which leads her on an adventure into a weird world. Yes, that's vague but I'd rather not give the book away.

Dead Set asks a few questions of Zoe and the reader. What would you do if you could have a chance to talk to someone you loved again? Would you take that risk? That's the question that Zoe has to ask herself and I found it really fascinating. What if you have the chance to have some closure? What would you do? Zoe gets the chance to ask that question on her journey in a very visceral world.

Overall, I was surprised how compelled I was to finish this book. I'd recommend highly. A good story from a good author.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Set 31 Oct 2013
By sarah brown - Published on Amazon.com
Dead Set is Richard's first foray into the YA genre, and what a fantastic debut it is, full of intrigue and nail-biting tension that will have you on the edge of your seat as you travel along with Zoe on her journey.

Richard has crafted an originally fresh and exciting read, which culminates in this story all being fit into a stand alone novel which seems to be rare these days.

Zoe and her Mother have moved to a new town after the death of her Father, money is very tight and Zoe and her Mother aren't getting along at all.
One day while skipping school, Zoe finds herself at a store that sells vinyl records, but these aren't normal records, each has the soul of a deceased person stuck in them and one of them has the soul of her Father.

To constantly keep visiting her Father, Emmett the store owner as payment requests first a lock of hair, then a tooth, some of Zoe's blood etc.
When she finds herself in Iphigene the place where lost souls end up including Zoe's Father and brother Valentine she discovers that it's ruled by Hecate (from Egyptian mythology) and she uses the souls to feed her children (her snakes and dogs) and has also stolen the sun which has left Iphigene in total darkness 24/7.

But when Hecate discovers the presence of a living girl she'll stop at nothing to catch Zoe and set in motion her nefarious plans, it ends up becoming a race against time for Zoe to find her way home, and keep her Father and brother safe in the process.

A great mix of paranormal and Egyptian mythology creates an intriguing story that you will find hard to put down once you immerse yourself in this world that Richard has created.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent young adult supernatural novel by Kadrey 4 Nov 2013
By K. Eckert - Published on Amazon.com
I got a copy of this book through Netgalley(dot)com to review. I have really enjoyed Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series, so I was excited to read a young adult book by him. This was an excellent and creepy read and I really enjoyed it.

Zoe and her mother have moved to the Big City after her father’s death. Things are tough, her mother can’t find work and Zoe is having trouble fitting in at school. Zoe’s only escape are her dreams, where she travels to a different place and visits with her lost brother Valentine. Then Zoe discovers a strange record shop. There the store keeper shows her a record of her father’s soul and allows her to watch it for the price of a lock of hair. Then for the price of a tooth she can actually visit her father in the realm of Iphigene. But as the price gets steeper and Zoe get more and more drawn into Iphigene, the question becomes will she ever escape this dark and deadly alternate world?

This is a very creepy book. The whole idea of a person’s soul being trapped on a record and of the creepy shop keeper asking for parts of Zoe for payment is eerie. The land of Iphigene is even more so. Iphigene is haunted by hungry trapped souls and ruled by Hecate, an evil witch of a character.

Zoe is an interesting character. She has a history of self-inflicted wounds (she was a cutter and struggles with this still) and misses her dad horribly. She is driven by the idea that finding her dad will somehow fix everything even though he is dead. She is also haunted by the dreams of Valentine, a brother she never actually knew. At times in the book Zoe is teetering on the edge of insanity and becomes extremely desperate and reckless.

Zoe’s mother and father are intriguing. They are both very sad characters, but you can tell they love each other and Zoe a lot. They are the epitome of a lot of adults out there. They made decisions in life that they thought were the best decisions to make at the time, but ultimately those decisions made them leave some dream behind and made them very unhappy.

Valentine is fascinating. He is the unborn brother of Zoe and really never got a chance to live in the real world. However, he’s been in Iphigene for a large portion of his life. He has served as a companion and confidant for Zoe throughout her life and now as she journeys to Iphigene he serves as a guide.

The story is fast-paced but not as gritty as the Sandman Slim series, it is definitely more of a young adult novel. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of edginess here and some disturbing stuff. The way Hecate’s children feed on the lost souls is extremely disturbing. The way Zoe is hunted down by the evil shopkeeper and Hecate is also very creepy. So this is a very darkly creative and intriguing story, just not as violent as the Sandman Slim series.

There is an interesting mystery to be solved here. Zoe has to figure out what Iphigene is and escape it before Hecate can capture Zoe and take over her body. It is definitely a fast-paced and engaging read and I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed that there is a lot of mythology, especially Egyptian mythology, woven into the story.

Overall I liked this book a lot. It was interesting to read a young adult book by Kadrey, he did a good job of making a darkly creative story that was edgy and creepy but still young adult. I enjoyed the complex characters, the absolutely wonderfully dark and creative world of Iphigene, and the fast pace of the story. If you are a fan of Kadrey I definitely recommend you check this book out. If you are a fan of dark and creepy supernatural stories I think you would like this as well.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Really Scary Dead! 4 Nov 2013
By PattyLouise - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Dead Set
Richard Kadrey


This book was about Zoe and her quest to reconnect with her dead father.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Zoe and her mom are miserable. Their father/husband died, his life insurance is a mess, Zoe's mom is looking for a job and Zoe is in a new school. Zoe comes across a strange old record shop with a proprietor who has ways for Zoe to see her dad. Every time she does it...she has to give him something...a piece of herself...a lock of hair, a tooth...it just gets weirder and weirder but Zoe can't resist the need to see her father...even in this world of the undead!

She is warned by Valentine...a brother she has never met but who exists in her dreams...that she should stop trying to see her father. She does not listen...goes once more and all hell breaks loose...literally.

What I loved about this book...

At first I didn't love anything about this book...I actually stopped reading it for a day but then I decided to try again. Thank goodness I did because I really became hooked by it. The world that Zoe descends into is scary and creepy. She is the only human girl there and it's miserable trying to get away from the queen and her son. But also great fun...albeit scary fun...to read!

What I did not love...

Zoe was kind of annoying at first...and I didn't really like her dream world.

Final thoughts...

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced scary YA chiller!

I received my copy from the publisher. My thanks to Amazon and Edelweiss for providing me with the way to read this on my Kindle Paperwhite!
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