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Slab City Blues Books In Order

Publication Order of Slab City Blues Books

Hymn To Gods Long Dead (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ballad of Bad Jack (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Slab City Blues (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Song for Madame Choi (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Aria for Ragnarok (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Slab City Blues is a book series written by Anthony Ryan. The first book of the series, called Slab City Blues was released in 2011. The series has four books so far, one of them being The Ballad of Bad Jack; which is the latest release in the series.

Anthony Ryan, the Author of all books in this series was born in 1970 in Scotland. He spent quite a lot of his adult life in London, living and working there. After a long service in the Civil Service in Britain, he decided to put all his focus and energy into writing. This was influenced by the good acceptance of his first novel by the public, titled Blood Song; Book one in the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. His academic achievements include a history degree and he has interests in art and science.

Slab City Blues gets its name from the fictitious place it has been set-up in; The Slab. The Slab is an orbiting habitat in the future, existing at a time when the earth is dependent on minerals mined from the asteroid belt. By virtue of having a history degree, it’s quite natural to learn that Anthony Ryan gave these qualities to the Slab to showcase the historical negative social effects of exploitation of natural resources as soon as they are discovered. The Slab is therefore showcased as an exploited underclass which had to fight a war to get their independence. The Slab itself is an epitome of social inequality. It has been divided into two parts, which are the affluent Yin side and the crime ridden slum-like Yang side. The slab is often described as “An orbiting slum in which rats grow big as well as sweat fall in rain”

The main character in this series is a war veteran, Alex McLeod. He is a widower having lost his wife at the final stages of the war for independence. He is described as a man with mental scars and a new face. He plays the role of detective throughout the series and he is vested with the responsibility of protecting the inhabitants of the Slab. He is a growing main character in terms of his tactics and skills as in every sequel, he gets better in what he does best; being a hero for Slab City.

The first two books in the series; Slab City Blues and A Song for Madame Choi are generally murder-mystery type of literature. The two stories were first released in 2011. However, they were first written over decade ago by Anthony himself. The first release in the series, Slab City Blues, tentatively talks about the appearance of a stranger in town. The stranger is described as a person having claws and a liking for killing assassins. This stranger spells trouble as the days in Slab City are no longer the same with his presence. With trouble breeding around, the hero in this series Alex McLeod sets out on the hunt for this menace. Alex has to live up to the responsibility of finding who this stranger is and unearthing the truth behind him. Suspense is inevitably built up in this book as the mystery of the stranger is unearthed.

The second book in this series, revolves around the disappearance of a girl, who has been kidnapped by unknown people. Alex McLeod is on the hunt for her but no useful leads are coming his way. He therefore decides, reluctantly, to seek help from Madame Choi. Madame Choi is a war veteran just like Alex, but a drug dealer. Trust issues arise between Madame Choi and Alex as the latter is not quite sure whether he can trust her, bearing in mind the former is a drug dealer. This sequel showcases the difficult choices Alex McLeod has to make, to save the kidnapped girl who is in the wrong hands thus her life is on the line. Alex McLeod has to step out of his comfort zone and doubts and endow Madame Choi with some trust if the lost girl is to be found.

The first two books in this series have a lot of cyberpunk influence. They have been drawn on science fiction elements such as gene-splicing and virtual reality, thus depicting the complexity of the future Earth and technological advancement in the coming years. The whole series is a great read for those who love a lot of science fiction mixed with drama and mystery. However, the third and fourth releases to this series have a reduced cyber punk influence and Anthony is trying to move into the serial killer type of stories.

Slab City Blues series is an educational read as well. It cuts across various aspects of the society and gives insight on the various issues affecting the modern world, some of which have historical origin. Social inequality has been highlighted, brought to light by the existence of two distinct sections of the Slab, the Affluent Yin side and the crime ridden slum like Yang side. This shows the social discrepancy of the current world where the gap between the rich and the poor is quite big. Slab City is a clear example of the consequences of mismanaging natural resources. The slab is in existence at a time when the Earth has to source natural resources from the asteroid belt. This is due to quick exploitation of newly found natural resources which is a disaster recipe affecting many countries in the world.

This series guarantees to completely snatch your attention and take you to the fantasy world of Slab City. The main character, Alex McLeod, evolves throughout the series and eventually his warfare skills and investigative prowess revive to full life. The villains as well get deadlier as the series progresses thus putting pressure on Alex McLeod to step up his game, to be able to battle out well with the new enemy. For lovers of science fiction, the advanced technology described in this book is mind blowing. The imagination of a world sourcing its resources from the asteroid belt showcases the advancement this future world has made technologically, fulfilling the claim that this is a science fiction book. This series is recommended for anyone who wants true entertainment from literature.

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