Monster Menu

Read Time: 2 Minutes

After serving the perfect revenge dish with ingredients of dubious origins, Renee (Nay) is on the hunt for more. She gets more than she bargained for when she’s pulled into a new world. Stark naked and stranded in the middle of a blizzard isn’t how she was expecting that to go.

An adorable tentacle monster also made it across, and soon their best buds. Nom, the tentacle, progresses along the same “epicurist” path that Nay finds herself on. In this world, epicurists prepare magical meals that others can eat to advance their own power.

What follows is a combination of slice-of-life and action-filled adventure. While Nay is mostly concerned with running the kitchen of a tavern, there are plenty of side quests where she must learn to harness her powers properly. Not everyone is happy with her arrival, and the power she stumbled into is highly regulated.

The story could have used another round with an editor to tighten it up and remove much of the repetition. In the first handful of chapters, for example, we’re told that Nay lost her sense of taste with Covid. Did she mention she had no sense of taste because of Covid? Well, she did, after all, lose her sense of taste because of Covid.

Fortunately, that mostly dies down, though we do still get a lot of repetition throughout, either restating a point or reminding us of something that happened only a few moments ago.

Mela Lee did a decent job with the narration. Not my favourite ever but a solid enough performance. There were quite a number of minor background noises throughout. Not enough to fully annoy me, but enough to make a note of. I’d certainly listen to something narrated by Lee again.

It’s worth noting that the author sadly passed away before this book was released. I don’t know if the adventures of Nay and Nom will be continued by another author or if this is where it ends. If you’re looking for a nicely concluded story as of the date of this review, though, then you’re not going to find it here.

There’s much more going on in this world, and we only just scrape at the surface. I do hope the author’s estate allows a continuation of this, and it’s something I’d love to hear more of.

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