Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

Absolutely awesome from start to finish. Blends haute-cuisine, horror, and comedy into a cocktail that went down so smooth, I’ve already ordered the sequel. If you’ve ever wished Top Chef were more like The Dresden Files, this is the book for you.

Taught me three things about writing:

  • With an omniscient narrator, you can just drop backstory on readers, instead of having flashbacks or waiting for it to come out through dialog. Keep it short, though, so it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story.
  • Opening with action is tough. It’s a good hook, but without really vivid descriptions, it’s going to be hard for the reader to picture what’s happening, since they don’t yet have a feel for the characters.
  • It’s easier for readers to accept the fantastic mixing with everyday life if the characters take it seriously as well. They shouldn’t be blasé, but having them face the weird head-on is a great way to make it feel more real (as opposed to, say, spending half the book in either denial or ignorance).