Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Taking Hell's Kitchen a bit Literally

Cassandra Khaw “Food of the Gods” (Abaddon, 2017)

This is less of a short novel or novella than a couple of short stories pasted together. The through line is the main character, Rupert Wong. Rupert’s trying to cook his way out of hell, so to speak. In the meantime, he gets called to solve some mysteries.

Somewhere there’s a reader who loved Chopped, mysteries, and world mythology who is absolutely spellbound by this young series. I confess to having an interest in all of the three, but somehow it doesn’t quite work for me.

The first of stories that takes place in Asia seemed quite a bit more interesting. Perhaps it’s just the more unusual mileu? Once things shifted to involving more common Western mythological figures in the second half I found my interest waned.

Khaw is clearly an up and coming writer to keep an eye on. With interests in the darker corners of fantasy I’m sure that she will develop a real following sooner rather than later.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.

Once More From the Top

Michael Poore “Reincarnation Blues” (Del Rey Books, 2017)

Wow. What a book.

Milo is a guy who has lived thousands of lives. He’s lived in our far future and our far past. Sometimes he’s human, sometimes he’s some other form of being. He’s just on the wheel, living and dying and not reaching perfection.

Along the way he meets Suzie, an incarnation of Death. Milo and Suzie fall in love, the way that you do. 

This is Milo’s story, and we follow along and see a wide variety of lives, some happy, some sad. Milo is struggling to find completion or perfection.

There is so much heart to this book. Unlike so many fantasies that touch on spirituality, this one is not cynical. It’s funny, yes, but full of love.

This is the rare book that I immediately wanted to give to all my friends.  So go read it.  It’s been a hard year, and a story like this full of hope and compassion is exactly what you need.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy.