City of the Lost

( 11 )

Overview

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.

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City of the Lost

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Paul Goat Allen
Stephen Blackmoore could be the illegitimate lovechild of James Ellroy and George Romero - zombie noir at its bloody best!
barnesandnoble.com, Explorations
RT Book Reviews
A brash, gory zombie tale filled with just about every magical being imaginable.
The Qwillery
Take a shot of noir, a shot of supernatural, a shot of mystery, add a dash of levity. Shake. Serve neat and you've got City of the Lost, Stephen Blackmoore's exciting debut novel.
Rex Robot
A zombie crime novel with fascinating characters and a brilliantly written plot... This is one wild ride that I would love to take again.
My Bookish Ways
City of the Lost is fast paced, funny, scary, at times charming, and I couldn't put it down.
- Seanan McGuire
"The gritty streets of CITY OF THE LOST are filled with snappy dialog, and fascinating characters, as well as a rollercoaster of a plot that doesn't slow down from beginning to end. This is the zombie crime novel we didn't know we were all waiting for."
- Caitlin Kittredge
"CITY OF THE LOST is the best kind of paranormal noir: gritty, breakneck- paced, and impossible to put down. Joe Sunday is a new antihero to watch, and the next installment can't come soon enough."
- Chuck Wendig
"Bruja, demons, bloodsuckers, the living dead and bucketloads of bloody magic - you'll find all of those in CITY OF THE LOST, but the real magic is how Blackmoore deftly breathes secret supernatural life into the City of Angels. This is an auspicious debut that's at turns violent, hilarious, and tragic. Can't wait make a return trip to Blackmoore's voodoo version of L.A."
- John Hornor Jacobs
"For a debut author, Stephen Blackmoore knows perfectly well how to snatch up his readers and barrel away with them from page one. In Joe Sunday, he's created the perfect hard-boiled anti-hero - an inexorable protagonist who's short on tongue-wagging and long on visceral brutality, yet is totally sympathetic due to his singular narrative voice. Oh, yeah. He's also dead. CITY OF THE LOST is one hell of a fast and thoroughly enjoyable ride. The perfect book for fans of crime noir, urban fantasy, and horror. One of my favorite reads of the year."
- Chris F. Holm
"The funhouse reflection of L.A. Blackmoore conjures is at once vibrant, seedy, and mysterious - streets so mean, they feel as though plucked straight from Chandler's DT nightmares. CITY OF THE LOST effortlessly blends the grit with the fantastical, and paints a world in which magic is to be feared - but not nearly so much as the people behind it."
Kirkus Reviews
A remarkable debut, L.A. noir with eye-bulging refinements, from a poet and short-story writer who says of himself: "As a writer he strives to be a hack. Hacks get paid. He's not sure if hacks talk about themselves in the third person, though. That might just be a side effect of his meds." Joe Sunday, bad knees, weary resignation and all, is a leg-breaker for English gangster Simon Patterson when his buddy and partner-in-crime Julio Guerrera starts acting weird in a bar, then rips his own throat out with a busted bottle. Seems that Simon sent Julio to steal a McGuffin from Chicago mobster Sandro Giavetti. Soon Joe confronts Giavetti, who strangles him. Joe wakes up to find he's in perfect health--except he's now room temperature and doesn't need to breathe. Giavetti, too, is immortal. "Well, maybe not so much Fountain of Youth as Fountain of Not Staying Dead." The only drawback as far as Joe is concerned is that he falls apart zombie-style every 24 hours and needs to chomp living flesh in order to return to being healthily undead. Oh, and the fact that the McGuffin, an egg-shaped gemstone, has vanished, and lots of folks want it. The basically indescribable plot involves said McGuffin and encounters with, among other beings, a mysteriously well-informed but unforthcoming femme fatale, a lecherous demon who tends bar in his own private universe, a do-gooder Latina bruja who wants to help homeless vampires, a diabolical Nazi wizard and a midget with teeth like a shark. A head-shakingly perfect blend of zombie schlock, deadpan wit, startling profanity, desperate improvisation and inventive brilliance.
Kirkus Reviews
A remarkable debut, L.A. noir with eye-bulging refinements, from a poet and short-story writer who says of himself: "As a writer he strives to be a hack. Hacks get paid. He's not sure if hacks talk about themselves in the third person, though. That might just be a side effect of his meds."

Joe Sunday, bad knees, weary resignation and all, is a leg-breaker for English gangster Simon Patterson when his buddy and partner-in-crime Julio Guerrera starts acting weird in a bar, then rips his own throat out with a busted bottle. Seems that Simon sent Julio to steal a McGuffin from Chicago mobster Sandro Giavetti. Soon Joe confronts Giavetti, who strangles him. Joe wakes up to find he's in perfect health—except he's now room temperature and doesn't need to breathe. Giavetti, too, is immortal. "Well, maybe not so much Fountain of Youth as Fountain of Not Staying Dead." The only drawback as far as Joe is concerned is that he falls apart zombie-style every 24 hours and needs to chomp living flesh in order to return to being healthily undead. Oh, and the fact that the McGuffin, an egg-shaped gemstone, has vanished, and lots of folks want it. The basically indescribable plot involves said McGuffin and encounters with, among other beings, a mysteriously well-informed but unforthcoming femme fatale, a lecherous demon who tends bar in his own private universe, a do-gooder Latina bruja who wants to help homeless vampires, a diabolical Nazi wizard and a midget with teeth like a shark.

A head-shakingly perfect blend of zombie schlock, deadpan wit, startling profanity, desperate improvisation and inventive brilliance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756407025
  • Publisher: DAW Trade
  • Publication date: 1/3/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 976,610
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Blackmoore is an author and a blogger. His first novel is City of the Lost, a paranormal noir with zombies, demons, witches, and a lot of action. He can be found at stephenblackmoore.com and on Twitter @sblackmoore.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    I want "Moore"!

    There aren't enough books from Blackmoore in print. Someone needs to tell him to write faster!! The story is very dark & gritty, & while I try to stay away from books this dark, there's a light sprinkling of humor that helps suck you into the story even deeper. A must-read for those who love Butcher, & Simon R Green.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In Stephen Blackmoore¿s City of the Lost, we have a gritty, noir

    In Stephen Blackmoore’s City of the Lost, we have a gritty,
    noir-inspired tale set in modern Los Angeles. Joe Sunday is a common
    thug for hire who gets sent on a job that gets him killed. Fortunately
    the story doesn't end there. The target brings Joe back, into a sort of
    zombie-ish unlife which brings Joe face to face with the hidden
    underworld of the City of Angels’ magic population; vampire drug
    addicts, ghosts, demons and devils, and wizards and witches. The story
    weaves several perspectives together cleanly, from a cop with a hidden
    agenda to an ambitious club owner, a woman whose sordid past reveals
    revenge on the highest order and a witch social worker. Mr. Blackmoore’s
    ability to keep tabs on these many sub-plots is like an IRS agent doing
    an audit, he knows where it all adds up. The story is fast paced and a
    quick thrill ride of fun. There are definitely some enjoyable scenes
    that are not only comical but downright violently entertaining. This
    book is certainly not for the faint of heart but at the same time it
    isn’t gory or violent for violence sake. Blackmoore runs this story from
    the protagonist’s perspective and, after all, he is a street thug. It
    has just the right amount of detail for the comic-horror this tale is;
    think Evil Dead, some dark comedy and funny but gross violence and
    you’ve got it. The writing is easy on the eyes, allowing the reader to
    immerse themselves into the story quickly and happily. I think it’s only
    real downfall is that it’s too quick a read. There was a lot of good
    story here and I think it shirked a little on stretching out some
    details and adding deeper filler. Joe Sunday isn’t the smartest but he
    does have a certain sense of street wisdom and experience that I will
    credit the character but in the story we’re dealing with several
    characters that have had far more experience putting together plots,
    schemes, and plans with more available resources than Joe Sunday that
    ultimately made the story shallower than I would expect. I did like
    the book, it was fun and it was enjoyable, and it’s definitely a page
    turner. The description is spot on and relevant, the characterization
    isn’t deep or profound but, as I mentioned, it is very noir inspired so
    the characters are notable and quirky and interesting enough to spend
    time with. It’s a fun read that I would compare to books like Sandman
    Slim by Richard Kadrey or Double Dead by Chuck Wendig, you’ll get solid
    entertainment that is hard to pass up.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    Fun read.

    I thought the plot was decent. I enjoyed it. Not a work of art but pretty good. If you can't take graphic violence you might want to skip this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Highly Recommended- you must read

    The story grips you at the very beginning. I've talked with 3 other friends and they also really enjoyed the too. I really like the Joe Sunday character.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    I've Got a Crush on a Zombie Named Joe

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    WOW!

    If you don't like blood, guts and testosterone...STOP! Go read something else. If you DO enjoy a book that oozes cool and packs a punch from start to finish, READ THIS. I rarely post reviews but this book was that good. My only(minor) complaint is that the book is only 182 pages(Nook version). I wish I could've read this for weeks and I very eagerly await a sequel(hopefully many of them).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    The story hooked me from the first few pages. The descriptions of the people and the local area makes you picture it in your mind. There is always something happening. There is always a new twist in every chapter, making you want to get to the next chapter.

    I'm looking forward to the next book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Take a shot of noir, a shot of supernatural, a shot of mystery, add a dash of levity.

    Take a shot of noir, a shot of supernatural, a shot of mystery, add a dash of levity. Shake. Serve neat and you've got City of the Lost, Stephen Blackmoore's exciting debut novel. I completely enjoyed City of the Lost. Joe Sunday, the 'hero' is a thug. No two ways about it. But he's a thug with a heart, more or less. When he gets caught up in supernatural shenanigans because of his boss, Simon, things really go sideways for him. He's turned into a sentient zombie...with an expiration date. He's got to figure out what's going on, who to trust, and how to save himself and Los Angeles at the same time. I really like Joe. He's a bad guy who's easy to like, which continually amazed me. Despite his profession, he's got his own sense of honor. He'll often do the right thing... under the circumstances. Joe is a great noir anti-hero. You know, the bad guy who is also heroic. While Joe is the central figure, Mr. Blackmoore does a great job fleshing out the rest of the cast of memorable characters in City of the Lost. It's quite a collection of characters too, some of whom I hope to see again in further novels. Stephen Blackmoore is particularly adept at writing dialog. He captures the back and forth conversational patter that I would expect to find in a noir-infused novel. It is a pleasure to read. City of the Lost is fast-paced, sometimes gory (Joe is a zombie), sometimes amusing, and always well-written. It will keep you on your toes and you will enjoy being there. I suggest you set out a block of time for reading because once you start City of the Lost you are not going to want to put it down. I give City of the Lost 5 Qwills. Originally posted at The Qwillery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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