Genre: Paranormal; Supernatural; Fantasy; Urban
Tired of being under the thumb of The Supernatural Council – Sid the vampire, Tish the succubus and Mac the troll decide to go their own way and open their own business, a small pizza place they lovingly dub Supernatural Pizza.
To be successful, the trio must work their way around being bad at marketing, customer reviews, employee interviews, sick days, protestors, and a very angry Supernatural Council.
‘Supernatural Pizza’ is a fun, light-hearted story with an interesting premise. Although it’s not something I am used to from the author, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Set in a version of modern day Earth where the existence of sentient beings other than humans has only recently been revealed to the world, a trio of odd friends decide to break away from the council that rules their kind by opening a pizzeria amongst humans.
These beings include mythical creatures such as vampires, werewolves, goblins, and trolls, as well as supernatural ones like the demons and angels who have finally been allowed to leave their respective realms of Hell and Heaven after an agreement involving the divine rulers. The author also introduces new takes on species, such as the Hunters: powerful humans who are born with the ability to wield an ‘angel blade’ and an inherent need to hunt.
Everything about how the author handles the environment is great. We see a culture of humans that rather than be frightened of ‘monsters,’ more often treat the supernatural beings casually or even in a xenophobic or ‘speciest” way. Then there are the different aspects of the supernatural cultures, including the intriguing details on how different drinks (alcoholic and not) affect (or don’t affect) different species; and how it’s their own Council that treats them oppressively, not the humans. Troubles within the Council, within the circle of friends, in between the groups, and the entire book overall kept me interested at all times.
The main focus is still the pizzeria. Getting it running, fighting the Council’s oppression, keeping it in business, and so forth. It was actually really nice to see the larger part of the story centering on that instead of detailing every single thing about the typical fantasy aspects of battle, magic, and so on. Don’t get me wrong, the fantasy are a major part that are deeply intertwined with everything.
For instance, one of my favorite things is how the pizzeria’s owners must work around inherent attributes of their species to maintain safety regulations, deal with nasty customers, and even use their gifts to keep it going smoothly, while also handling the drawbacks of what they are to decide what to do with the business and with their personal aspirations. There was a chapter dedicated to internet reviews from various customers that really made me smile.
All in all, a fantastic read and a breath of fresh air. The characters are all very well done and unique to themselves in species, personality, and experience. The author has put together an endearing mix that sets this story apart from others.
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(review submitted to Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and Books-a-Million)
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~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden
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