Cooking with Bones BIG ISSUE Review

Thomas Quinn reviewed Cooking with Bones for the Big Issue:

Cooking With Bones by Jess Richards had my taste buds raging, too. This is a very different book: science fiction, it has a young adult yet literary feel. And it’s nicely put together.

Amber lives in Paradon (paradise, London) and her “sister” is a “formwanderer” – a genetically engineered human being who reflects her desires back to her. An intriguing idea.

We live in the Facebook age of self-examination and self-promotion. We post “selfies” of ourselves, seek validation through our likes and shares. In the future, can this be taken further – creating entire beings designed to reflect back what we want to see?

Amber and Maya run away from Paradon, however, fearing that the authorities are going to clamp down on formwanderers – for acting on our darker thoughts. Could Maya commit a murder?

It feels quite teenage, but in a good way. And the portrait of the now – sci-fi is always about the now – is a bleak one. The countryside is impoverished, backward and cut off while in the city girls eat salad “to stay slender”, their days filled with studying for exams and making their parents happy.

When they escape, Amber revels in the smells and feel of the forest, the taste of previously unknown spices and jams, and in baking. This is sci-fi Mary Berry style, with a twist of gothic. Think gingerbread house, witches and power.’

The full piece is here:


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