Darren and Lena are the newest chefs to join Sin Du Jour, a highly exclusive catering company with a highly unusual clientele. Overseen by a Michelin award winner, Sin Du Jour operates on government contract to host diplomatic banquets for - wait for it - demons! Their latest dinner service involves a unique ingredient, and the chefs are the only thing standing against all-out war between two rival gangs of Hell's finest.
Envy of Angels is a quick, breezy, and very entertaining read. It's also one of the most unique urban fantasies I've read in some time. Although Chuck Wendig's Mookie Pearl was a tough foodie, Wallace's crew are all about working the line and getting their hands dirty with flour and an array of other, far more mystical, ingredients. Think Anthony Bourdain by way of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
There's a rich vein of humor running throughout, despite a subject matter could delve deeply into the darkness. Although a sequence in which the Sin Du Jour Procurement team attempt a heist to steal a fast food chain's secret recipe carries a richly macabre undercurrent, Wallace still finds the humor in a highly off-the-wall scenario. The tone, at all times, is kept as light as puff pastry.
What really caught my attention, though, were the flashes of insight toward Wallace's world-building. Sin du Jour and the reality it operates in are subjects I want to read and learn more about. I want to get deeper insight into the government agency that employs them, and the demonic cultures they feed. This is only the first book in what looks to be a long-term project for Wallace, but I'm already supremely captivated even if, at times, this book feels more like an appetizer of things to come, rather than a fully satisfying entree that left me stuffed. But, I'm OK with that simply because this story was a heck of a lot to read. It also helps knowing that the second book, Lustlocked, comes out on Tuesday, because I'm definitely ready for another serving.