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Space Battle Lunchtime
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About the Author

Natalie Riess is from a distant, unknown star. Her motives are unknown, but she seems to enjoy drawing food and making comics. She lives in Texas with her girlfriend and her girlfriend's cat.

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KIRKUS-In this graphic-novel sequel, a human chef must battle her way out of a murderous intergalactic cooking show.

Diving right in where predecessor Lights, Camera, Snacktion! (2016) left off, this sequel finds Peony, an aspiring white earthling chef, double-crossed and kidnapped from the cooking show Space Battle Lunchtime. She's dropped onto the set of their sinister competitor, Cannibal Coliseum, where the contestants could literally become lunch. On the set, Peony meets one of her challengers, the very pink, wide-eyed, manga-styled, and adorably vicious unicorn Ariella Magicorn. As Peony tries to stay alive in the cutthroat kitchen, her friends from Space Battle Lunchtime-including the quietly intense, blue-skinned Neptunia, whose affections for Peony have now blossomed into a relationship-must save her before it's too late. Riess' candy-hued charmer is like a recipe that incorporates myriad ingredients: there's sci-fi elements, comedic action, a tentative and sweet queer intergalactic romance, and, of course, the culinary aspect. In less deft hands, this seemingly arbitrary assemblage could fall as flat as a dropped souffle, but Riess' offbeat sensibility and inventiveness shine. Heavily awash in a spectrum of bubble-gum pinks, this is a fun, fierce, and inventive tale that will appeal to those seeking read-alikes for Noelle Stevenson's fan-favorites Nimona (2015) and Lumberjanes.

A genre-buster, for sure, and a delightful mashup at that. (Graphic science fiction. 12-adult)


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