- File Size: 3918 KB
- Print Length: 380 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (June 11, 2019)
- Publication Date: June 11, 2019
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07GV99TSJ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,857 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Sol Majestic: A novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 380 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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“Much like the kitchen in which it’s set, Steinmetz’s culinary space opera is filled with variety. At its heart, it’s a complex, chaotic, and mystifying coming-of-age story of a young man becoming a lover, an aesthete, and an activist....Steinmetz (The Uploaded) elevates his story with lush details and vividly rendered characters, crafting a memorable love letter to the nourishment of body and soul as well as the dignity of work and service.”―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The discussion around this novel implies that it’s a revelous romp, but that would be oversimplifying it. Yes, the characters are fun and mad, the descriptions of the restaurant and its inhabitants wondrous and sparkling. But like the food sumptuously described here, strange, surprising and satisfying notes burst through while consuming each chapter. Like Kenna, we arrive at the Sol Majestic for a meal and are served a new outlook on life ― one that’s rather obvious but no less triumphant.” ― The Washington Post
“The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz is not a love letter: it's a love asterisk, a love starburst, radiating out in so many contradictory directions that it shouldn't possibly work, and yet somehow, gloriously, does.
It is a feast of a book!” ―New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire
“Ferrett's fiction always has something clever and hungry about it, and The Sol Majestic is no exception - if anything it's the logical next step, and his pinnacle so far. Strange, rich, thoughtful, and just plain fun - this is a book to swallow whole.” ― Cherie Priest, Hugo and Nebula Award nominated author for Boneshaker
“There are moving tales and clever tales. This one happens to be both. Steinmetz never ceases to amaze.”― Ken Liu, Author of The Dandelion Dynasty and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories
“If Baz Luhrmann was going to direct an episode of Chef's Kitchen, this book would be the result. Steinmetz has brought his signature high-saturation prose to questions of identity, truth, faith, food, and sex in this completely one-of-a-kind book. It grabbed me by the brain and didn't let go until long after I got to the end.” – Hugo and Campbell award finalist Sarah Gailey, author of River of Teeth
“Dizzying, beautiful worldbuilding with characters that make you ache. Damn this book is good.” – Hugo Award finalist Mur Lafferty, author of Six Wakes
“From the first hors d'oeuvre to the last bite of dessert, there is a complexity of characters, motivations, and love. Compelling and delicious!” –Lawrence M. Schoen, author of The Moons of Barsk
“Steinmetz builds up to a suspenseful finale that's deliciously satisfying. An uneven first course, but the meal as a whole is worth savoring.” ―Kirkus Reviews
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Doesn't matter. This book made me laugh and cry and get excited and find hope. It doesn't take any of the easy answers. It takes the right ones instead.
It celebrates the glory of food. It celebrates the glory of people. It focuses on small, ordinary things, like hunger and boredom and badly made chicken broth, and it unfolds them to show how they all have the potential to be glorious.
This is a book that nourishes my soul. I hope you love it as much as I do.
As an aside, I've met Ferrett at book signings, and he has that ability others often claim to have, but frequently don't. If you tell him who a few of your favorite authors are and why, he gives spot-on recommendations for authors you haven't read yet. Go to a book signing.
Also, I was piqued at how this far-future science fiction setting at no time allowed me to imagine that the hundreds of chickens butchered and cooked onscreen had not once lived and breathed. (There is room to imagine they were humanely treated in life but this isn't actually encouraged by the text, just not contradicted.)
The romance didn't do it for me; too much mood whiplash, too propped up by unconfirmed private assessments of the love interest's mental states, and I didn't see anything much that appealed about the love interest. (Actually, even outside the romance there was a weird amount of unconfirmed private assessments of others' mental states. Maybe this is just me being Too Autistic For That.)
That having been said, there are good parts, I got through the entire book, the ending's fairly clever, and the first scene set at the eponymous restaurant made me cry.
You can also just read it as a book about a disillusioned poor young space monk, who has stumbled into the richest world of food that the future can produce, but the journey touched me.
I found that though we touched despair, this book left me feeling more hopeful that I have felt in ages.
Top international reviews
Kenna is a destitute 16 year old the heir or prince to the Inevitable philosophy a sort of self help religion that is powered by the will power and determination of there followers when they find there philosophy, the personal truth or ephiany that drives there every action unfortunately most princes find there truth by the time there 15 and even Kenna’s parents, cold and distant as they are, begin to doubt him.
Living from transport ship to transport ship surviving on diet of nutri crackers and vending machines Kenna finds himself days from starving to death when after a impassioned speech he wins a contest for a free meal at the Sol Majestic the universes premiere restaurants where people travel for years to sample there wares, catching the interest of Paulius eccentric master chef and owner a ambitious and fool hardy plan is hatched to give Kenna a meal of a life time, when the consciences become known it is up to Kenna to save his new home.
In a sea of dark and depressing titles or at the other end of the spectrum completely lightweight and forgettable The Sol Majestic stands as it’s own things it’s very hopeful but deals with dark themes, celebrates found family’s as the staff and owners of the Sol Majestic become a family to him yet shows the coldness and abusive nature of Kenna’s parents.
Normally what transpires in the end as a actual meanacing villain shows up and the events that a mentioned in a throwaway line in the epilogue would be where most books had there storylines in showing Kenna being a great man in war or protest but The Sol Majestic is interested in how the foundations of greatness are laid and the other people that help make it happen.
Quirky, warm hearted it was simply a delight to read if you enjoy this I recommend Uploaded by the same author or if your willing to stretch out of sci fi into urban fantasy he has a wonderfully strange series flex. Either way this author has joined my automatic must read pile I hope he joins yours.
And it's also a coherent, thrilling, surprising, dazzling display of SF world-building set on a space station somewhere across the galaxy.
And it's also about how each person inhabits their own body and interacts with the people around them. How we engage with our own history and our hopes for the near future... and how a single individual can nudge the course of millions of lives.
And it's a glorious love story between one man and the aspiring chef he adores.
But don't take my word for it; go buy it, read it for yourself... and prepare to enjoy a 13-course meal of flavours and emotions! Simply exquisite; literary haute cuisine at its finest.
If that doesn't sound like your bowl of ramen then skip it, but you'll be missing out.