Cinnamon & Gunpowder by Eli Brown | Book Review

Cinnamon & Gunpowder by Eli Brown | Book Review

Hi everyone. I’m Rincey and this is Rincey
Reads. Today I’m going to be doing a book review on Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown.
This book takes place in 1819. You are following this chef named Owen Wedgewood who is this
famous chef working for this very rich man. One day these pirates come into their home
and kill Owen Wedgewood’s boss. And then the head pirate, Mad Hannah Mabbot, kidnaps the
chef and takes him hostage. She takes him out to her boat and demands that every Sunday
he has to prepare a gourmet meal for her. If the meal is satisfactory to her then he
lives for another week, and if he’s not then he’s basically going to be killed. So every
week he’s forced to improvise and just use whatever he has access to, which is not very
much because he’s on a boat and it’s 1819 so there aren’t a lot of like refrigeration
or storage capabilities at that time. And he’s basically just like put to the test about
what’s the best meal he can possibly make with the little resources that he has available.
This book is written completely in diary form from the point of view of the chef, which
is really interesting because everything is very one-sided. The chef is very upset that
he’s being taken hostage, but he also kind of likes the challenge that he’s presented
with. Having to make these gourmet meals but not having the things available to him that
he might normally have. So he’s forced to be more creative which, in the end, he ends
up actually kind of liking because when you have everything available to you, it’s almost
easy to be super creative and to create these amazing meals. But when you have significantly
less, the challenge is higher. And so he kind of likes being challenged in that way. But
also you can sort of see how the chef’s mind changes about these pirates, specifically
Hannah. And you see this relationship forming. It’s almost like a comradery but still kind
of not because throughout the book he’s still trying to escape and he’s still realizes that
he’s living with pirates and they are attacking other people, stealing from other people,
all of these things. So there’s this continual conflict and tension that takes place in this
book, which is actually pretty enjoyable. I thought this book was just a lot of fun.
If you’re someone who likes TV shows like Iron Chef America or like MasterChef or things
like that, and you like watching chefs having to be super creative with parameters, then
I think this would be a book that you would enjoy. Because this book actually does go
into a lot of detail about the things that he’s creating and the methods that he’s using
and the foods that he’s utilizing, things like that. So if you’re someone who enjoys
food or food writing, then I think you would like this book a lot. One of the other things
that I noticed while reading this book that I also really enjoyed is the fact that he’s
very realistic. A pretty decent amount of people die in this book or are severely injured
in this book. This isn’t like some high seas adventure where like everyone just has fun
and you’re just going around pillaging and no one really gets hurt. Like no, there’s
actually people who die and are majorly injured in this book, which I was very, very shocked
at the first time I came across a scene like that. But at the same time, like you’re reading
this book and it takes place in 1819, like, yeah, of course people are going to die. You’re
at sea and you’re attacking people. So I really appreciated the fact that Eli Brown doesn’t
like sugarcoat these stories. Another thing is that this book takes place over the course
of quite a few months at sea. So you can see the characters developing and you can see
the characters changing and different relationships forming. And even the chef just finding out
new things and new layers to the people that he’s been surrounded with. You know, his first
impression isn’t always and is actually almost never the right impression of these people.
And so you can see him learning about himself and learning about all of these other people
and learning that people are more complex and there’s a lot of gray areas. In the end
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it. I think there are a lot of really
interesting twists and turns and character development that happen here that I wasn’t
expecting whatsoever. I don’t know if that’s just because I was being really dense. But
I feel like this is one of those books where you can sort of just jump in and just enjoy
the adventure that you end up going on. I highly, highly recommend this book. I think
it’s so much fun. It was kind of like the perfect summer read. This is out in paperback
now too so I feel like this would be such a great book to take to beach or on vacation
or something like that because it’s such a fun adventure book but there’s still character
development and depth to it. So yeah, that’s my review of Cinnamon and Gunpowder. If you’ve
read this book, feel free to leave a comment down below letting me know what you guys thought
of it. Or if you have any questions about the book, feel free to leave that down in
the comment section as well. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for watching.

Comments (7)

  1. So glad you enjoyed this one. I thought it was a blast, and I wish there were more like it. Mad Hannah Mabbott is my favorite fiery lady on the high seas.

  2. This is definitely something I want to read! I love historical fiction and food! I've also never read anything about pirates, so I'm guessing this might be a good start! The cover is stunning though! not liking the new one at all.

  3. I've never heard of this, and it sounds right up my alley! I'll definitely pick it up!

  4. Oh boy,you're gorgeous

  5. I've been meaning to pick this book for a while! It has such a fun premise. A perfect combo – exquisite food + lady pirates <3

  6. hi there! we met at vidcon! great channel! it was a pleasure to meet you!

  7. I love your reviews, Rincey! And best of all, you CC all of your videos! You've no idea how much I appreciate that, as a deaf person who loves absorbing YouTube videos, especially BookTubers! <3 Hugs from snowy NM!!!

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