PURE CHOCOLATE By Amber Royer
Angry Robot Books, s/b, £8.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
This is the second book in Royer’s Chocoverse series featuring renowned chocolate chef Bo Bonitez, and picks up where the first finished.
Set in the far future – chocolate is Earth’s only unique export to the rest of the galaxy as it isn’t grown anywhere else, and is fiercely protected by HGB, the conglomerate that owns chocolate. Bo and her alien boyfriend Brill are on the planet Zant as she films cooking shows with a Zantite film star Minda when she discovers that HGB has been exporting tainted chocolate. As people around them start to behave out of character and a friend tries to kill Minda, Bo, Brill and some friends are on a race against time to prove their innocence and prevent many more from dying in an intergalactic incident.
Sometimes sequels don’t work well on their own, or just don’t stand up against the original. Pure Chocolate is a rip-roaring galactic adventure that can be read on its own as the author does a great job of reminding you what happened in the first (but you would be depriving yourself of the fun and adventure that the first novel has to offer), and fully delivers on the promise that Free Chocolate made (not of actual free chocolate though, that would be silly). Humour, drama, action and pathos fill the pages as Bo and Brill adventure across the stars in a fun. An easy-to-read sequel that keeps your attention from start to finish.