It’s been awhile since I read any entries in the “Deadly Sins” series, so I had forgotten just how short a novella can feel. With that in mind, Wallace in heavy on the plotting and a little shy on world-building and character-building. Although he introduces characters from the first book, details on most are a little bit light, except for our nominal ‘normal’ lead of Cindy, introduced the first book and still dealing with the mental fallout of the job. At any rate, I thought it went quicker than the first, Envy of Angels, with less bizarro action. Um, scratch that.
What was awkward to me was the introduction of a seriously famous person as a side character without saying the celebrity’s name, but including all the other details to give fans knowledge. I’m not sure why, to be honest. Then when the musician’s children became part of the story, it was even weirder, because it diverted from real life. I feel like if you are going to borrow from real people/events, then it should be an ‘all in’ situation–either you embrace it with inclusions of famous references (and risk dating the book) or you are vague enough that it won’t matter.
All that said, it was more fun than I expected. Wallace’s ‘Sin’ series has one novella per sin, set in a obscure catering firm that does jobs for paranormal creatures. (My review for the first here). Given that, I was hesitant to start ‘lust,’ fearing a slicked-up orgy as centerpiece, but I should have trusted Wallace to put his own bizarre yet entertaining spin. Although a little weird in the plot development, it gave time for progress in Cindy’s character, as well as a few side characters we hadn’t met yet. Besides, as the origins to the disaster came out of good intentions (whoops! You know what they say about that and the road to Hell), it’s nice to have a positive message.
This edition also had a short story at the end, “Small Wars,” which doesn’t really stand alone as much as provide the adventurous off-shoot.
First book: Envy of Angels
Third book: Pride’s Spell