Lustlocked is the second installment in Matt Wallace's Sin du Jour Affair series, which revolves around a New York catering company that caters to the supernatural elements of society.
In the previous book, Envy of Angels, the chefs and crew hosted a diplomatic dinner sponsored by a secret government agency in an effort to stave off war between two demonic groups. Lustlocked picks up on the heels of that event, as the company prepares to host a grand goblin wedding under the supervision of the Goblin King.
Yes, that Goblin King. In a fitting and sadly timely homage, Wallace gives us yet one more avenue to prove the immortality of David Bowie's lasting legacy. Although at the time of Wallace's writing, Bowie was alive and well, and expected to remain so for quite some time. It's a sad fluke that Lustlocked just so happens to have released on heels of Mr. Bowie's death from cancer. This is, however, a wonderfully befitting bit of fan service toward not only Bowie's iconic character from the film Labyrinth, but of the iconic performer himself. It's a pleasure getting to "see" the King once more.
As with Envy of Angels and the short story, Small Wars, which acts an inbetweenquel, Lustlocked doses out the humor, providing a keen edge to the affairs and preventing the seriousness of the story from delving deeply in the morose and macabre. While preparing for the grandiose wedding of the goblin prince and his human bride-to-be, some shady bit of spell-casting goes wildly awry and leaves the human guests transformed into horny lizard creatures that threaten to hump to death the entire guest list.
Again, these books are crafted to be sheer entertainment, and Wallace maneuvers a peculiar tightrope with aplomb. This story could have drifted precariously into dark meanness, or perhaps a bit of weirdo erotica, but Wallace averts those traps and sticks to the fun and fantastical side of things, first and foremost. There's a certain Buffy The Vampire Slayer but for Netflix vibe here that I find really appealing. He also gives his characters brief moments to shine and continues to flesh out his cast in interesting ways, right up to its sucker-punch finale.
I am now feeling the long, heavy weight of the intervening months between now and June, when the third installment releases. I think it'd be a sin to miss what comes next.