Title: River of Teeth
Authors: Sarah Gailey (Twitter)
Rating: Recommended With Criticism
Genre/Category: Historical Fiction, Western, Queer Fiction, Hippos, Alternate History
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Tor.Com Publishing
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in this review are my own.
In the early 20th 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.
Honestly, there’s a part of me that’d like to thank Sarah Gailey for giving me a fear of hippopotamuses with her high-tension, hippo-filled novella River of Teeth.
Look, I live in South Florida. My corner of the state is like super marshy and already full to the brim with scary animals like gators, pythons, and everything that escaped from Miami Zoo in the wake of Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. (Including the rudest peacocks you will see on this side of US-1…)
I’m used to being afraid of wildlife.
It’s kind of my thing, to be honest.
But River of Teeth put a fear of hippos in me like you wouldn’t believe.