Book Tinder: Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace Goes on a Date
Diese Kolumne ist nichts für schwache Nerven, denn hier wird getrunken, geflucht und diskutiert: Nicolette Stewart liest alle Kurzromane von Tor.com, und dieses Mal bittet sie einen um ein Date. Ladies and Gentleman: Envy of Angels von Matt Wallace.
He had me at the dedication. "For Nikki, my real-life sin du jour." Awww, thanks Matt, you shouldn't have. Oh. You didn't? No. You didn’t. Oh. OH. Jesus. Don't fucking tell me that right before I'm about to review your book. Gawd. Well. *fluffs hair* *fakes smile* Then how about we set up Wallace’s novella Envy of Angels (Tor.com, October 2015) on a few dates then? I've made books fight, and I've made books drink. It’s about time for a book date.
Life philosophy: Everyone is crazy. Dating philosophy: Find somebody whose crazy is compatible with your crazy. Be crazy together. Live happily ever after. So what kind of crazy is Envy of Angels? What is he like? What does he like?
Envy of Angels contains: legions of undead clowns, a catering company in New York, monsters, magic, well-choreographed fights, chicken nuggets, humor, and a pineapple-chopping race. He’s probably that guy with the whimsical profile photo that screams LOOK AT HOW MUCH PERSONALITY I HAVE I SWEAR I’M HILARIOUS I SWEAR NO REALLY. This is not your gym-abs guy or your skydiving world-traveling adventure guy. This is the guy who wants you to know that he will make you laugh, that he is a mother fucking good time. And he’s right.
Envy of Angels starts out all bold loud action-packed fight. His personality is on display, at full volume, from page one. So I’m already worrying: Is this Envy of Angels guy all loud jokes and action and no depth? Does he hold up to multiple readings? (I can vouch for two. I took so long to write about reading Envy of Angels that I had to read it again.) The real test will be the rest of the books in the series, each one another encounter with the Sin du Jour world and cast. Will there be depth? Will there be evolution? I really hope so because this is a hell of a lot of fun.
So. Envy of Angels is on Tinder. He’s set up a profile. He’s got the perfect photo. He’s looking around. Match! Match match match! Oh look, its Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. They start by chatting about that time a six-foot praying mantis almost killed everyone. They don’t have All the Things in common, but they’ve got that, and oh my god, don’t even get me started on what happens when somebody knocks over some fucking shady glass jar and basically ends the world, haha, amiright? But then Envy of Angels starts getting annoyed with the way GJ keeps repeating himself. You know what I mean?! YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? YEAH YOU FUCKING TOLD ME I KNOW WHAT YOU FUCKING MEAN. </date>
But maybe that wouldn’t be enough to keep them from seeing each other one more time. There was chemistry. Maybe not a perfect fit, but chemistry nonetheless. One impression isn’t a full impression. But once these two get past all the usual getting-to-know-you-getting-to-know-all-about-you chat, Grasshopper Jungle starts getting bored. Yeah, Envy of Angels is entertaining as fuck and keeps making him laugh—magic! fun! bam pow smash whoa look at that army of undead clowns!—but once Grasshopper Jungle starts bringing up all that coming of age, teen sexuality, what is love and can I have sex with both my male and female best friends and a cupcake? questions, Envy of Angels starts looking toward the door. I mean, he’s interested in the morality of serving an immortal filet to a family of demons, but, I’m sorry, dude, it just feels like we’re talking past each other, you know? It’s been fun, but I don’t want to see you again. Fin.
But Tinder puts out, yaknowwhatImean? And Tinder has another suggestion: Chuck mother fucking Wendig and his Miriam Black series. Fuck, am I setting up books or authors? Wendig has been quoted saying that Wallace is “a powerfully good example of an author-publisher.” What nobody knows, of course, is that right after that Wendig also said that Wallace was a powerfully good example of a sexy manbeast, and…coughcough, maybe we’ll just leave those two alone in a room for a while to lock beards.
Now, maybe I just want to see Miriam Black fight Envy of Angel's Lena, but I think these two series would be a good match. Both urban fantasy. Both written in a way that begs to be turned into television. Chuck Wendig's humor moves at a higher speed, but both are books that are out for a good time and have about the same amount of depth. When you get that kind of match on Tinder, we’re talking superlike here people, you know what’s gonna happen. Bowchicabowwoooooooooow.
Envy of Angels isn’t asking a lot of philosophical questions, or any questions really, besides maybe, holy shit is this cool or what? But sometimes, that is just what you're looking for. Because, yeah, I don’t really want to set Envy of Angels up. I want to know if I should swipe right on it and the entire Sin du Jour series it begins. Foooooled you. (Imagine that I just said that in Rick Moranis’ voice. If you know why I said that in Rick Moranis’ voice, congratulations we are probably the same age.) There are a lot of pop culture references so Envy of Angels might not age well—but hey, let’s just sit back and enjoy the moment. Besides, the pop culture references in Envy of Angels are the pop culture references of my youth so at the very least we’ll have that Marie de Salle-Rob Gordon thing going for us... *swipes right* *sets up dates 2 through 5*
This column was brought to you by “The Virtual Swallows of Hog Island” by Julianna Baggott. Featuring: virtual reality therapy, coding, childhood trauma, despair.
Tor.com ist nicht nur das führende Onlinemagazin für Science Fiction und Fantasy in den USA. Sondern auch ein unabhängiger Verlag für Novellen. Welche man davon wirklich gelesen haben sollte, verrät dir Nicolette Stewart in ihrer Kolumne - auf Englisch!