Review of Envy of Angels: A Sin du Jour Affair by Matt Wallace (Tor.com, October 20, 2015)
Lena and Darren are chefs who have been friends since high school and now are roommates in a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. After losing their jobs and wondering about their futures long enough for Darren to enter “manic cheese straw making mode”, they get called to a short term job at a catering company.
It is not exactly what they expected. The other employees don’t all appear to be human and the clientele don’t either. They were hired for a really large banquet but the implications of it aren’t clear until they prepare a ton of appetizers and run out of an ingredient. Darren’s curiosity gets the entire cooking staff into trouble because a monster gets loose in the kitchen!
In their first few days, Lena and Darren end up learning more of the strange truth about their new employer, Sin du Jour Catering, than their new boss had ever imagined. They have to copy some highly unusual dishes and the path to some needed ingredients and recipes is a very dangerous and magic-filled adventure. Who knew being a catering chef was so exciting!
The setting is contemporary with magic, demons, and angels added. The characters are all highly distinctive and have quirky personalities, so even though the cast is rather large for a short work there is no confusion about who is who. The imaginative food choices the chefs have to prepare add to the feel of an otherworldly setting. The banquet scene was like a cross between a feast and a horror movie with the guests being the horrors.
Your Humble Reviewers are very happy that this is a series because it is the best humorous urban fantasy ever! It has an unpredictable plot, crazy in-jokes from modern culture and some very ridiculous scenes with a chicken. Everyone who likes their stories on the lighter side should buy this book!