Based in Southern California, ‘This Delicious Death’ follows 4 teens to a music festival in the middle of the desert. Coincidentally this is the first major outing for Zoey, Celeste, Valeria & Jasmine since The Hollowing, a mass airborne pathogen outbreak event caused by melting arctic permafrost that turns some humans feral and cannibalistic. Friends and Family are turned into Predators vs Prey, but Scientists are soon able to create a synthetic version of human meat called ‘SynFlesh’ to sustain those that have been affected, who are now dubbed ghouls. All 4 girls are ghouls and after 2 grueling years, are ready to do something semi-normal. Armed with their festival gear and cooler of synflesh, they head out for some much needed R & R. Unfortunately, the weekend of fun is soon derailed when Valeria ghouls-out and kills a fellow festival goer, right after consuming a meal of synflesh, which is not supposed to happen due to the appetite suppressing nature of the meat. They quickly realize that people are being drugged. The ghouls are being targeted and everyone else at the festival is in danger. It’s a race against time as the girls try desperately to figure out what is going on and who is behind it, before Valeria (and a few unfortunate others) is completely transformed into an unrecognizable creature and the rest of the festival is devoured.
I haven’t read anything like this before and I rather loved it. There were quite a lot of tropes to enjoy and being right after our own pandemic it was relatable and easy to pretend that it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to happen IRL. Lots of detail, the characters and settings were well described. I enjoyed the back and forth between the current events and how things went down for each main character during the hollowing. Character development was on point. I did feel like the end was wrapped up super quick but I can’t think of how I would do it differently. I do hope there is a sequel and would recommend this title to all fans in favor of a Young Adult Mystery with a healthy dash of LGBTQ. 4 Stars.
<!> An enormous Thank You to NetGalley, Sourcefire Books, and Kayla Cottingham for allowing me the opportunity to read this title in exchange for my honest review. <!>