Friday, December 18, 2009

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith (3/5 stars)

This book is about food and vampires, so I thought it sounded interesting. I mean the two things don't usually go together all that well. Overall it was a mediocre read, nothing fantastic but okay.

Quincie's parents are dead and she and her uncle run a restaurant that was previously owned by her parents. Only thing is the restaurant isn't doing well, so Quincie and her uncle decide to redo the restaurant into a kitschy Italian Vampire restaurant name Sanguino's. Unfortunately a few week before opening the lead chef is murdered in the kitchen and it looks like it was done by an animal. The police are all over Quncie's best friend, a werewolf name Kieren, but he swear he wasn't involved. Then a new chef turns up and Quincie is stuck juggling school, work, and the task of turning the new chef into a passable vampire chef. While all this is happening the police are still struggling to figure out who murdered the original chef and are getting increased reports of disappearances.

Everything about this book was mediocre. The characters are kind of halfway characterized but not very engaging; there weren't any character in this book that sparked my curiosity or made me want to know more about them. The plot was very predictable. The writing was straight-forward but didn't deliver any of the sensual description for food or otherwise that I expected given the title. The development of a vampire menu was a main point in the book, yet the food was treated in a very cursory way. The world itself (and the inclusion of vampires and were-animals) was never really developed and was very limited in scope, basically we rarely see outside the restaurant.

That being said, the book was nothing special but was somewhat amusing. It is a very quick read, so I didn't feel like the book was a waste of just wasn't anything all that interesting or special.

I probably won't read any more books by Smith. There was just nothing in this book that felt at all creative, inspired, or even engaging. The book didn't offend me either and was an okay read, but just kind of blah.

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