Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector
Review Tagline: You’ll have trouble not falling in love with Special Agent Curry and his bite sized stories.
Blurb: Keith Curry has his work cut out for him.
NATO’s Irregulars Affairs Division is a secret organization operating in thousands of cities around the globe. Its agents police relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, protecting citizens from both mundane and otherworldly dangers.
Former chef turned NIAD food inspector, Special Agent Keith Curry found out about magic the hard way and is now determined to keep dinner safe for everybody. Includes the novellas “Cherries Worth Getting,” “Magically Delicious” and the never-before-published “Bring Out Your Best” plus bonus shorts and more!
Length: 317 pages.
Read as an: eBook.
My Thoughts: Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector is a novel made up of collected stories that revolve around Special Agent Keith Curry. Once a chef, now Keith is an agent of the NATO Irregular Affairs Division where he specialises in food inspections and investigations.
Grilled Cheese and Goblins is an incredibly fresh look at urban fantasy. Not only is the book a m/m romance, but it blends fantastical elements with food health and safety administration.
I mean, what?
Who would even think to mix the two?
Better yet, why would you?!
I’ll tell you what, Kimberling has merged the two to create such a nuanced and different world! With investigations ranging from searching for human protein (man meat 😛 ), illegal magical inclusions to food, contaminated blood supplements, and world saving blintzes, Grilled Cheese and Goblins is such a unique urban fantasy.
Not only is the concept of the stories engaging but so are the characters. The main character Keith is in some ways a tough character. Do not get me wrong, I loved Keith but he plays things close to his chest. There is a sarcastic nonchalance that comes through the romance of the story and in the ways he interacts with people. The best representation of this, is his relationship with his cat. If you read the novel, keep your eye out for the cute moment where Keith absolutely refuses to acknowledge that he adopted a cat.
Gunther the other main protagonist, a trans-human snow goblin and romantic lead of the story, is a wonderful counter to Keith’s distance. While reading you get the feeling that Gunther wants and he wants hard. Later, he loves and loves hard. I also adored how close Gunther was to his family! The cute (but horrifying) pictures of baby snow goblins plus how close he was to his parents, were really endearing.
Throughout the book it was so great seeing the romance transition from the beginning of the novel to the end. As the book is a collection of short stories, we are treated to snippets and moments from the years the pair are together. I’m not usually the biggest fan of compiled stories or anthologies but I really enjoyed Grilled Cheese and Goblins. The time jumps were really great; I enjoyed seeing Keith and Gunther experience the holidays, moving in together, and other milestones they passed over the years. I also really loved seeing the emotional growth of Keith as he came to terms with a few things about himself and the larger world he lives in.
I won’t ruin anything but the last story of the novel, ‘Bring Out Your Best,’ was such an entertaining and sweet way to finish of the book. Seeing the moment where Keith takes a huge emotional step had me closing the book with a sappy smile.
- I loved how bite sized the stories were. Puns, that I offer no apologies for, aside the stories were so easy to read. I would find myself devouring story after story as the larger world pulled me in.
- The world building is so vivid! The depth and detail that Kimberling has put into this book is staggering. I loved seeing all the other realms and the different characters who inhabited them.
- Bring your son to work day. So funny! Incredibly strange out of context but seriously, read the book and find out. One hint though: leprechauns.
- ‘The Little Golden Book of Goblin Stories’ – this small story was just so sweet ❤ I honestly finished the story with such a huge smile.
‘Curry speaking,’ he said.
‘I prefer my curry silent and in a bowl, but we can’t have everything we want.’
If you’re interested in reading something different, then Grilled Cheese and Goblins is for you. Not only does the book present a really unique premise but the romance of the story is sweet and entertaining.
If you think you need a little magical health and safety in your life, Grilled Cheese and Goblins is it!
Please note: I received a copy of Grilled Cheese and Goblins from NetGalley.