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The Final Culinary Frontier: The Star Trek Cook Book by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

28 Sep


I have at times been disappointed by some cookbooks based on popular TV shows, books, or movies due to not having food that actually feels like it comes from that world, but instead just having food items with cleverly titled names, but no connection to the franchise itself.  The Star Trek Cook Book by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, however, truly feels immersive.  Dishes are listed by the alien species whose planet originated the dish and it is explained that the earth ingredients are substitutions for hard to find off planet ones.  Dishes included resemble those from a variety of earth cuisines and have a sprinkling of molecular gastronomy type techniques that give the dishes a futuristic feel like the Porakan Cloud Eggs which have you separating chicken eggs, beating the whites, and then combining them again when baked for a dish that “replicates the unique properties” of the Porakan variety.  Large full color illustrations are included with each dish. 

I’m planning to have a cocktail party with some of my Star Trek loving friends featuring Ferengi Tube Grub Skewers (don’t worry gnocchi stand in for grubs), Denobulan Sausages, and Klingon Krada Leg Skewers with libations including Klingon Bloodwine, Romulan Ale, and Risan Mai-Tais.  My son is particularly looking forward to helping me with the Starfleet Food Rations, which are suspiciously similar to mochi candy. 

Difficulty is cleverly measured in pips and the reader is given tips on what the recipe pairs well with as well as “diplomatic plating” suggestions.  Definitely recommended for Star Trek fans, even those who aren’t usually fans of cooking will smile over recipes like Spatchcocked Tribble.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for access to an early copy. Fantasy Foodies can check out a previous post featuring cookbooks based on Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and True Blood.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Fresh New Fantasies: Silver Under Nightfall and Bindle Punk Bruja

15 Sep

Borrow these new fantastic fantasies today!

Silver Under Nightfall
by Rin Chupero

I had been eagerly awaiting Rin Chupero’s latest novel, Silver Under Nightfall, set in a world where vampires and humans struggle for survival and power; it not only lived up to my expectations but surpassed them.  I had written about another book by Rin Chupero, Bone Witch previously.  Their latest novel shares some similarities such as intricate descriptions of monstrous creatures and a keen insight into creating diverse and unique cultures and exploring the way in which they interact with one another.  I found this book even richer in the emotional resonance that was created in the character of Remington, who despite being raised to hunt and destroy vampires feels himself drawn to a vampire couple who may be a source of happiness and love, which he has never experienced before or could lead to him losing all he has ever worked for.  Remington must work through his often abusive past, especially his destructive relationship with his father. Remi is given depth and emotional complexity often not found in male leads especially who have been cast in the “hero” role in the fantasy/horror genre.  Chupeco was inspired some by Castlevania, so fans of the game or the recent Netflix series will surely enjoy this novel greatly.

Bindle Punk Bruja
by Desideria Mesa

Bindle Punk Bruja is the debut novel of Desideria Mesa which combines historical fiction set in the Roaring 1920’s with a little witchcraft.  Rose has a secret identity hidden deep down just like her popular speakeasy, she is actually Luna who is pretending the Mexican half of her identity doesn’t exist so she can make a living since her immigrant family are thought of as “bindle punks” or bums.  Many of the other characters are also hiding secrets whether it be their religion or sexual orientation.  Luna’s earth magic is a metaphor for this, although her grandmother is a powerful bruja, Luna’s magic is weaker in comparison, she can make men fall in love with her but believes she lacks the power to do more, it is only when she opens herself fully and connects with her roots that she finds her magic blossom.  She’ll needed that magic to keep her and those she loves safe from harm.  The twenties slang throughout was amusing and there were many enjoyable characters; I particularly was charmed by the Luna’s business partner Heck.  I also appreciated that the novel brings light to groups who were often hidden and discriminated against during that time period.  Check out Bindle Punk Bruja and fall under its spell.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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