Saturday, May 23, 2009

Single Sashimi

Venus Chau is my kind of gal.

She's the heroine of Single Sashimi by Camy Tang, the "last" book in the Sushi Series (more on why I put that in quotes in a bit). Venus is a gamer and works in the game industry. She is a no-nonsense, tough as nails individual and has to be in a male dominated workplace. She likes stilleto heels because it allows her to at least meet the men eye-to-eye if not look down on them. She is quick to take charge and speak her mind.

And Venus has big plans. She and a friend are working on a game development tool called the Spiderweb that could revolutionize the game design industry. But her life starts to go awry when she's passed over for a promotion at her job. At the same time, her old boss, Drake Yu, contacts her and offers her a position at his sister's start-up, an MMO company geared for families. Everything seems to be falling into place but then Venus's life starts to spiral out of control. Could it be that God is trying to tell her something?

Like I said, I loved Venus. Probably the gamer in me. Heaven knows I'd probably be scared to death of her if I met her in real life. I'd be the timid guy in the corner wishing he had the courage to go up and speak to her (that is, if I weren't married already. Love you, Jill!). But I think that's why I enjoyed reading about Venus. She was tough but vulnerable at the same time.

The same can't be said for Drake Yu, though. He's not quite as fleshed out as the other men in the Sushi Series. At least, he didn't seem to be that way to me.

The plot for this book also wasn't quite as twisty as the previous books (especially Only Uni, which I think is my favorite out of the series). That's not a complaint necessarily. Even though I saw the big crisis coming, when it happened, I was riveted watching the drama unfold. And I was cheering as the "bad guys" got nailed in the end. So the story definitely kept me riveted, so much so that I was up until about two in the morning yesterday to finish the book.

There are really only two complaints that I have about the book and they both revolve around Venus's family. First there's her cousins. Part of what I enjoyed about the other books in the Sushi Series is how visible the other cousins were. They showed up constantly to add drama or try to help. They largely disappeared through the middle of Single Sashimi. Now that's certainly understandable due to their own dramas, but I missed them.

The other revolves around Grandma, the indomitable force of nature that blew through the first two books. In Sushi for One and Only Uni, Grandma was devious, conniving, and ... well, a great antagonist for the girls. In Single Sashimi, she's a bit too tame. I think that's because Venus is so similar to Grandma, but it seems like the old lady got defanged somewhere between book two and three. We find out a potential reason why at the very end of the book, and when I read what had happened, I was like, "You've got to be kidding me! That happened? Why couldn't I see that?" I think it's a missed opportunity.

That said, I'm kind of sad that this is the "final" book in the series, seeing as there's one more cousin to go. But maybe I can take heart. I recently popped by Camy Tang's website and saw that if you sign up for her e-mail newsletter, you'll receive Weddings and Wasabi, a novella about Jenn Chau, the fourth and final cousin.

I know I'm signing up as soon as I'm done with this review. Because I have to find out what's up with the goat in the backyard.

1 comment:

Camy Tang said...

LOL Thanks for your review, John! You also gave me a good laugh today.