cover image Seconds


Bryan Lee O’Malley. Ballantine, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-52937-4

The bestselling author of the Scott Pilgrim series returns with another hit. Twenty-nine-year-old chef Katie runs a restaurant called Seconds; it’s successful, but she dreams of starting a restaurant of which she can be part-owner. Katie is frustrated in her love life, having lost her boyfriend, Max, and construction of the new restaurant is moving slowly, with many setbacks and added expenses. In a desperate state, Katie discovers the house spirit of Seconds—a crouching sprite who lives off scraps—who unwillingly gives her a chance to reverse a recent error that led to a grisly accident in the kitchen. Katie soon becomes addicted to this magical method of fixing mistakes, but as she changes more and more about her world, reality itself starts to deteriorate. O’Malley’s engaging narrative voice hasn’t diminished—even the self-absorbed Katie is likeable enough to root for, although it’s obvious that she’s making things worse for herself. O’Malley’s sweet, nimble art, now in color, has acquired more confidence: the plot unfolds cinematically, and his character designs are more appealing than ever. A solidly hilarious entry in the “what if we could do it all over again” genre. (July)