Novella Review: Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Envy of AngelsEnvy of Angels by Matt Wallace

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Book 1 of Sin du Jour

Publisher: Tor.com (10/20/15)

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say, so far I’ve been very impressed with the variety of Tor.com novellas. Just as I’ve gotten myself settled in with a couple stories that are rather sober, more serious-like endeavors, along comes Envy of Angels barging into this black tie dinner party like your favorite uncle, the one who gets loud when he’s had too many but is always ready to entertain the crowd with a funny yarn.

I had such a great time with this book. Imagine Hell’s Kitchen meets Dresden Files, marinated in a flavorful blend of action and thrills, seasoned generously with humor. When I first glimpsed the conspicuously short publisher description for this novella, I had my suspicions about what this meant and now they have been confirmed: The less you know about this story going in, the better.

Fortunately, I can give the general gist of it without spoiling anything. Envy of Angels is about Lena and Darren, two ordinary down-on-their-luck New York chefs who suddenly find themselves landing the gig of lifetime at Sin du Jour, an exclusive catering company owned by one of the city’s hottest celebrity chefs. However, it soon becomes clear that Sin du Jour is no ordinary catering company. For one thing, their clients are demons.

When asked to serve a morally questionable item on the menu at their next event (and we’re not talking about veal), Sin du Jour owner and executive chef Byron “Bronko” Luck gathers his staff and puts it to a vote. Should they do what they’re told and go through with the whole thing? Or should they take the dangerous, near-impossible option and attempt to pull the wool over their devilish clientele’s eyes by preparing a substitute main course and praying they won’t notice? By the way, these types of hellish customers, when they don’t get what they order, aren’t just going to be sending it back. But guess what our characters decide to go ahead and do anyway.

The result is an extraordinary amount of story packed into this novella. Envy of Angels features plenty of action both in the kitchen and out in the field, and even includes a thrilling heist sequence starring Ritter, Cindy, Hara and Moon, the unforgettable foursome who make up Sin du Jour’s Stocking and Receiving Department.

The plot is also very addictive, especially when it gets more and more bizarre. Between getting completely sucked into the story and the sheer morbid curiosity to see what other crazy things might be happening next, I kept turning the pages and finished this book in no time at all. It was fantastically good fun. I really don’t want to give much more away, though in truth, there are moments so absurdly hilarious, so out-of-this-world-insane that I would be hard-pressed to describe them, anyway. Seriously. There are moments in here that you simply must experience for yourself.

One thing is certain though. I’ll never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again.

4 stars

15 Comments on “Novella Review: Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

  1. I do like the sound of this one – but I do tend to stay away from short stories and novellas. Apart from the odd one. I usually feel like I’m just getting into the story and it wraps up.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I won a copy of this from a Tor sweepstakes! And yes, the fact that it’s a story about food is responsible for all of my enthusiasm 🙂

    I did see that Tor.com already a bought novellas 3 and 4 of this series. The next one, Lustlocked, looks like it’s going to even more bizarre than this one.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves and Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

  4. Pingback: Matt Wallace – Envy of Angels – SFF Book Reviews

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