This was one of those advance review copies Net Galley offers as a 'read now', evidently because it isn't getting much attention. Unfortunately most of those are not very good, which is why they get little attention, but once in a while you can find one that is a worthy read, and I struck lucky on this occasion, because out of four such graphic novels I requested, three turned out to be pretty darned good, and this was one of them.
I was attracted to this one because of the unusual subject matter. This was a graphic novel about a chef, and it did not disappoint! Gavion Cruickshank was a TV chef, the owner and show-runner of the ironically-named Starve!, a TV ratings sensation, but he up and quit the show and disappeared for years. Eventually he was found hiding-out in Asia, and all-but blackmailed into coming back onto the show, where he finds himself now a competitor, under the direction of an old rival, and competing in a reckless, crazy, and sometimes literally brutal competition for top chef.[>
I'm a vegetarian, so I didn't appreciate the brutality of the show, but there really are things like that done in real life, and this was pure fiction, so I didn't let that get in the way of enjoying the inventiveness and break-neck pace of this story. I'm no relation to Brian Wood (to the best of my knowledge!), but I wouldn't mind being related to someone as creative as this.
While trying to reconnect with his grown-up daughter, and fend off his vicious ex-wife, Gavin has to create gourmet dishes from scratch which will charm the taste buds of the show's judges. And he has to do this in each of eight episodes. He manages to keep on top of things for the first three, depicted here, but the novel ends in a modest cliff-hanger. This ain't any TV chef you've seen!
The art work was sharply angular and darkly colored, and suited the story perfectly. it;s not the kind of artwork that is normally to my taste, but here it works and I appreciated that. I liked this one. I recommend it as a worthy read and wish the creative team the best of success with this series.