FREE CHOCOLATE by Amber Royer. A Review

FREE CHOCOLATE by Amber Royer

Angry Robot Books, s/b, £8.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

 

FREE CHOCOLATE

By Amber Royer

Angry Robot Books, s/b, £8.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

 

Free chocolate – not an offer, but a call to arms. In a galaxy where chocolate is closely controlled in growth, production and distribution by HGB, their heavy-handed tactics employed to protect Earth’s only export of value results in a plot to find a way to cultivate cacao away from Earth and break HGB’s stranglehold.

Bodacious “Bo” Benitez is the lead character in this clever space opera – daughter of a cooking star known throughout the galaxy, and a deceased fireman. Working with her Krom boyfriend Brill, they come up with an audacious plan to steal priceless cacao pods. Chased across the galaxy by a reptilian galactic policeman, a HGB hitman and trapped on an alien space liner, it’s a race against time for Bo and Brill to sell the cacao pods, save their relationship and each other’s lives.

Royer’s writing is exciting and fun to read – being Latina, Bo tends to sprinkle her dialogue with Spanish words and phrases, which was initially a little distracting, but I soon got used to it and it even helped me to learn some new Spanish and Portuguese phrases!

Bo’s galaxy is populated with intriguing and dangerous races, and Royer has clearly spent a lot of time mapping it out and planning how everyone and everything knits together. This is a rip-roaring adventure across a dangerous galaxy, which is worth a read by anyone that enjoys a good bit of sci-fi and space opera.