As much as I love the Sandman Slim books from Richard Kadrey and all the gritty noir elements of each of those novels, Dead Set is a welcome departure showcasing a much different, but ultimately still engaging and fascinating, side of Kadrey’s writing. The style, tone, and diction are hugely different from the Sandman Slim books, so if you’re expecting more of the same, then you’re better off re-reading those volumes because Dead Set is a unique dark fantasy tale that offers a rich reading experience.
Our female protagonist is an angst-ridden teen, but you’re not going to find any comparisons to Bella Swan here. Zoe has every reason to be morose–her beloved father passed away recently, leaving her with a mom struggling both emotionally and financially to be the glue that holds them together. She’s not doing much better at school either, although she does befriend a fellow outsider at one point, even if her circle of friends turns out not to be the best.