Book Review: River of Teeth

river of teethRiver of Teeth
by Sarah Gailey
Alternate History?
173 pages
Published 2017

I somehow missed that this was a novella, every time I looked at it online. It wasn’t until I checked it out from the library and was shocked at how small it was that I made that discovery. It was a welcome one, since I checked out seven other books that day, and finding something short was a relief!

And I AM SO GLAD I finally read this, because it’s AMAZING. It opens on Winslow seducing a federal agent, and quickly moves to him gathering up a crew to drive feral hippos out of a marsh in Louisiana. I was expected a fun hippo-cowboy romp, and I got that – what I wasn’t expected was strong, deadly women, a bisexual male hero, a nonbinary love interest, and hippo steeds. I don’t know why hippo steeds didn’t occur to me – it’s not like they could wrangle hippos from atop horses! There is so much goodness packed into this little volume.

Taste of Marrow, the sequel, is slightly longer, at 192 pages. Still not full book length. I’ve put a hold on it, because I need to know more about these characters!

River of Teeth: short and sweet, action-packed with amazing characters and a fascinating, bizarre, but historical premise.

From the cover of River of Teeth:

In the early twentieth century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true. Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.

This was a terrible plan.

Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.

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