Envy of Angels

December 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , , )

angelsEnvy of Angels by Matt Wallace

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I think I first heard about the Sin du Jour novellas through Tor’s blog. I find out about a lot of books through that blog, but I also use io9, Worlds Without End, and a couple of other blogs to build up my to-read list, so there’s no telling. Either way, I decided to take a shot on this one to see if the series would whet my whistle. Let’s just say I’m not going to be reading the rest of them.

Envy of Angels is trying too hard to be irreverent and hip, mostly by having a bunch of cutting-edge personalities running an unusual restaurant that caters to unusual clients. In this novella, the clients are demons, and the dish is an angel. Of course, the two new chefs in this restaurant refuse to kill and cook an angel, so the story becomes one of how to duplicate the dishes the demons are expecting without raising suspicions that they’ve been duped. And that’s where the story goes off the rails.

I don’t mind hip, irreverent, wonky stories (Sewer, Gas, Electric, anyone?), but this one goes too far in every direction, and then holds it up with a flimsy plot and plastic characters. OK, so angels taste like chicken nuggets. Fine. I’ve read enough satire and parody to see where that’s going, but Wallace seems to want to channel Chuck Palahniuk without touching on the depth he puts into his fiction. The entire thing feels like we’re skating over a pond where we can see hints of major formations underneath the ice, but they’re too fuzzy to make out.

Envy of Angels lacks subtlety, relying on over-the-top violence to carry the story. I’ve read works that have that level of violence and still manage to be subtle, but Wallace doesn’t have that style with this work. Maybe it gets better as the series progresses. I won’t know, as this one didn’t interest me enough to make me care about what happens in the future.

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