The Sol Majestic by Ferrett Steinmetz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been a fan of Steinmetz ever since Flex, so it doesn't matter what he writes because I'll be there, enjoying the strong creativity and stronger characters.
I honestly didn't even bother to read the blurb. Silly me. But what really woke me up was the fact that I was now reading a FOODIE novel. Yes, indeed, this is a THING. Not only that, it's becoming more and more common in fantasy and SF.
AND I LOVE IT.
So now that Steinmetz is jumping into the mashup stew, mixing a weird social SF with a more traditional Space Opera and making it focus hard on food, food preparation, the restaurant biz (Sol Majestic, baby!), and the wonderful world of the MAGIC OF FOOD, I knew that I was in for a real treat.
This particular novel brings in philosophies as a political and religious foundation and it messes with people in very interesting ways, but for the most part, as we follow Kenna, a nearly starving outsider to the whole rat-race, we're focused on survival and the blossoming LGBT love and even stronger love associated with FOOD. :) In particular, he makes dear friends with the restaurant and is catapulted into the Philosophy royalty that seems rather preoccupied with a galactic internet popularity contest... of which he has won the jackpot. :)
Add some funny but dire mishaps, business decisions threatening to destroy the restaurant and a FREAKING TON OF BROTH, not to mention a lot of growing up to do, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the tale.
I admit, I now have a problem. I'm addicted to foodie fiction. This is probably worse than watching Gordon Ramsey because there simply isn't enough of this particular sub-genre to fill my stomach properly. I CRAVE so much more!
BTW, if you don't think that Foodie Genre fiction is a thing, I invite you to read Andrew Hiller's A Halo of Mushrooms and full sequence of books by Mathew Wallace starting with Envy of Angels. Fantasy, SF, wild adventures and all of it about FOOD. :)
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