The Sol Majestic

Tor. Jun. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781250168191. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250168184. SF
OrangeReviewStarKenna is traveling with his parents across the galaxy, looking for enlightenment, his Inevitable Philosophy—and a good meal. Near starvation, Kenna ends up winning a meal at the exclusive Sol Majestic restaurant. The head chef, Paulius, finds inspiration in Kenna's search for his philosophy, beginning a journey to end in Kenna's Wisdom Ceremony—whether he finds his Inevitable Philosophy or not. In the kitchen, Kenna discovers individuals joined in their love of food and creativity: Scrimshaw, the holder of the purse strings; impassioned Paulius; beautiful broth-stirrer Benzo. As Kenna learns more about Paulius and strikes up a friendship with Benzo, he realizes that the path to becoming a Prince of the Inevitable Philosophies involves not only his mind but his heart as well.
VERDICT With this intersection of sf and culinary narrative, Steinmetz (The Uploaded) serves up a charming coming-of-age tale with an appealing cast of unforgettable characters.

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