Eggs, Butter, Sugar and Disaster by Alicia L Wright

Eggs, Butter, Sugar and Disaster by Alicia L Wright is a humorous take on mythology and the afterlife featuring strong female characters.

Recipe for Ragnarok. First take a generous helping of Seralina, whisk up into the Norse pantheon, add dwarves to taste and sprinkle with a dash of immortality. Leave to mature for just the right amount of time. Now settle back and enjoy a fun trip through numerous afterlives and see if Seralina can stop Ragnarok.

As I am sure you have already spotted in the synopsis above there is a distinct food-based theme to this book and if I was asked to describe it in a complementary way I would say that it is light and fluffy. There is nothing to dislike about it but on the other-hand there is nothing that I could, hand-on-heart, say that I found highly enjoyable.

The plot is unquestionably unique and the author should be applauded for that but my main problem was that nothing of much consequence ever seemed to happen and it reminded me more of a screenplay for a situational comedy than a fantasy novel. The book starts like a runaway train and takes a while to settle, exposition and characterisation are not explored in great detail but the humour is pretty good, not over-done and not without charm. After the initial “thrown in at the deep end” beginning the story gains more clarity and we begin to find out a little more about Sera and her life prior to finding herself in Valhalla (though not enough in my opinion).

As I continued to read there was one thing that I felt book really needed and that was a strong relationship between two central characters. I am pleased to say that this was provided by Sera and her familiar Phin, a relationship which will remind readers of that enjoyed between Lyra and Pantalaimon from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.

When I look back on the written notes taken whilst reading Eggs, Butter, Sugar and Disaster the ones that stand-out are “story needs a focus”, “meandering rather meaninglessly” and “a lack of a driving force” and this sums up my main problem – it just never seemed to go anywhere and the sub-plots that sparked an interest where barely explored or simply abandoned.

However, just because Eggs, Butter, Sugar and Disaster did not really work for me that does not mean that everybody will have the same experience. For a start, I am male, and while this certainly is not a female-only read I do think that its appeal will be greatest amongst young women. Another big plus-point for it is its merging together of so many mythologies (Roman, Greek and Norse to name but three) which is sure to instil younger readers with an interest in these fascinating subjects.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a book with strong female characters which explores many mythologies and afterlives then this could well be the book for you.

5/10 There is nothing to particularly like or dislike.

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