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Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour Affair Kindle Edition
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|Length: 232 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Envy of Angels is a quick, breezy, and very entertaining read. It's also one of the most unique urban fantasies I've read in some time. Although Chuck Wendig's Mookie Pearl was a tough foodie, Wallace's crew are all about working the line and getting their hands dirty with flour and an array of other, far more mystical, ingredients. Think Anthony Bourdain by way of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
There's a rich vein of humor running throughout, despite a subject matter could delve deeply into the darkness. Although a sequence in which the Sin Du Jour Procurement team attempt a heist to steal a fast food chain's secret recipe carries a richly macabre undercurrent, Wallace still finds the humor in a highly off-the-wall scenario. The tone, at all times, is kept as light as puff pastry.
What really caught my attention, though, were the flashes of insight toward Wallace's world-building. Sin du Jour and the reality it operates in are subjects I want to read and learn more about. I want to get deeper insight into the government agency that employs them, and the demonic cultures they feed. This is only the first book in what looks to be a long-term project for Wallace, but I'm already supremely captivated even if, at times, this book feels more like an appetizer of things to come, rather than a fully satisfying entree that left me stuffed. But, I'm OK with that simply because this story was a heck of a lot to read. It also helps knowing that the second book, Lustlocked, comes out on Tuesday, because I'm definitely ready for another serving.
This book was weird. I like weird books so that shouldn't have been any kind of problem but this book is really weird. Not normal weird but undead clowns worshipping a giant chicken kind of weird. This book had a certain crazy that went along with the weird and I think it was just a bit much for me at times. It was definitely unique and unlike anything else that I have ever read.
Darren and Lena get the chance to work for a catering company called Sin du Jour. Sin du Jour is not your normal group of caterers. They have a very original menu and clientele that sometimes come to them with special requests. Serving the wrong kind of meal could have devastating consequences for the employees of Sin du Jour. I thought that the way that the staff of Sin du Jour interacted with each other felt rather authentic.
The narrator was just okay for me as well. I believe that this is the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Corey Gagne's narration. I have to admit that I didn't care for some of the voices that he used especially for the female characters. It was difficult to determine who was talking at times. I thought that he did have a pleasant voice that brought excitement to some of the scenes but I was never quite able to completely move past my dislike for some of the voices used. I would probably be willing to give this narrator another try in the future with a different kind of story.
I think that some readers may enjoy this story a bit more than I did. It was a really interesting concept with some really exciting scenes. The book did cause me to swear off all chicken nuggets at least for a little while. I am probably not going to continue with this series but I am glad that I decided to give this story a listen.
And disturbed that I sort of wanted a Henley's Chicken Nuggie.
Every character is drawn clearly (if briefly; it is after all only novella length) with their own personality, and the slightly scruffy world of a professional kitchen collides with the realm of the paranormal in a deftly crafted way that makes the craziest plot twists (and there are some pretty crazy ones!) feel completely legit. Mr. Wallace whisks together the hilarious and the moving with a style that reminded me a bit of Christopher Moore but is totally his own. I finished in one day and immediately pre-ordered the first full-length Sin du Jour novel due in January. Till then, you know what, writing this review has made me want to go back and read Envy of Angels again. If you'll excuse me....