Novella Review: The Secret Ingredient is Love. No, Really. (Stake Sauce #1) – RoAnna Sylver

Going Through The Motions (Stake Sauce Stories, #1)

After an incident at work, Firefighters Eva, Jude, and Jasper now work at the local mall. Jude fights daily with PTSD, and the nagging belief that it was a vampire that slaughtered their team, and not a simple fire.


Why this book?: I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about RoAnna’s work, and I’ve spoken to them multiple times on twitter. If I was going to start anywhere, it was here.

It’s hard to talk objectively about something you truly loved, especially if it’s extremely short. RoAnna’s Stake Sauce has the makings to become an amazing and unique novel-length story that takes a common and cliche idea, and spin it into something new and entertaining. You don’t think of this story when you think vampires–no, you think something along the lines of Twilight. But Stake Sauce is nothing like Twilight. 

Although with the first arc of the story is extremely short, and you don’t even get to meet all of the character, Sylver introduced a compelling cast of characters that leave you craving for the rest of the story. The mystery behind why Jude, Eva, and Jasper are now working at the mall, the mystery if there really are vampires in the mall, and much more, leaves you wondering what will happen next. The diversity of the characters and their personalities was truly compelling, especially seeing how each clashed and connected, despite their differences. I specifically want to mention one of the side characters, whom I think will make an important return. Jasper hides his hurt over the death of his partner by becoming different people. I really connected with Jasper, with how he hid his emotions behind masks.

The macabre mixed with the humor gives you a sense of comical relief so much so that you don’t really realize how weird something really is. Steak sauce with blood?? You’d think someone would question this but the mood that Sylver sets with her language doesn’t let you realize how weird something is, even as the characters are questioning it.

Final Rating: ★★★★★

 Overall?

Stake Sauce is the start of a diverse story about vampires with pink hair, and firefighters with PTSD. RoAnna is a superb writer with superb ideas and the full version of this story should be highly anticipated by anyone. I was not mislead when people told me what an amazing writer and person RoAnna is. Sylver has an imagination and writing style to envy, and I will be reading their other works before the rest of Stake Sauce is released.

Would I Recommend?

My only disappointment was how short it was. I needed more. I would suggest waiting until October when the whole story is out, so you won’t have to suffer like I am.


Going Through The Motions (Stake Sauce Stories, #1)

Additional Information:

Published: April 30th, 2017

Publisher: The Kraken Collective

Page Count: 48

Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: via Goodreads

Jude used to leap out of helicopters to rescue/protect people from terrifying infernos. Now, by day, he protects the local mall from rowdy teenagers who ride their skateboards inside. By night, he protects the parking lot, and the rest of Portland, from undead, bloodsucking creatures of the darkness. Or would if he could find them.

But he’s just about ready to give it up (living with PTSD and pain from the traumatic event that cost him a leg, a friend, and a lot more is hard enough), when something crashes into his life. And his window.

(I only included part of the summary as the other part doesn’t happen in this part.)

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