Personally, when I come to a book, I have a whole range of desires, some of which are contradictory, and some of which are merely divorce, but all of which are hard to cram into the same book. So I am always thrilled with a book that satisfies not just one but several of my desires. The Galactic Gourmet, by James White, is one such book. How did I love it? Let me count the ways…
First of all, it is part of a great series. When I looked at my shelf in order to get a book to review, I had several James White books, several in this series and outside of it, to choose from. So if you like this book, if you get hooked, you will be able to satisfy your cravings for a good while.
Secondly, it is very funny. Situation comedy where a lot of the comedy is in the situation, and even more in the characters, and still more in the situations. That’s a lot of comedy.
But it is also very, very serious. Not ‘sad’ serious, not ‘people dying everywhere’ serious, but ‘important issues of character development’ serious. The main character comes on screen with high ambition, an excellent work ethic, and a mountain of hubris. The ambition propels him to conquer the difficulties that the book presents; the work ethic gives him the tools; and the mountain is pared down to a molehill, a very loveable molehill.
Scripture teaches us that we each have ‘gifts differing’, and this book celebrates this in spades. The series is about an interstellar hospital, treating patients of vastly different alien races. And in the various books, we have heroes which are doctors, nurses, and even psychologists. (He was a surgeon, but when he cut off his own leg in the middle of an operation, the moved him to another job. And reattached his leg.) But in this book, the hero is… a chef! Now that’s a gift differing! And the author does a marvellous job of integrating his chef-ness with the work and mission of the hospital. Who needs medicine when you have good food?
And I personally love both medicine and food, which kind of puts a cherry on the top of the cake as far as my enjoyment of this book. There is nothing overtly Christian or religious in it, but there are some themes that Christians, and even Christian parents, can build on with this book. I hope you all love it as much as I did.
Well, I have three books published so far with Wise Path Books, and am actively working on several more. If you would like to review any of them, contact me and I can send you an e-copy. If you're into alpha or beta reading, I would love to get you into the process! Read the book when it is still in the process of being written, warts and all...