I received this book for free from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on May 23rd 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
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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.
Here is what I thought
So I guess I thought this was going to be something other than what it was so I am a little confused on how I feel about it. When I read ferral hippos in the bayous I thought horror, killer hippos but what I got was not much of anything close to what I thought. Goodreads list have it as science fiction which I guess it can be since it’s an alternate America, but it’s listed to some as fantasy which I can’t see at all.
It’s set in the late 1800’s and the government thought they would help with hunger by bringing in some hippos from Africa and using them as a meat source. What they didn’t think about was that hippos are mean and got a snap that can snap a man in half, so that didn’t work out so well. Now they have a lot of feral hippos in the bayous.
So the government hires some hippo wranglers to get rid of the feral hippos and with that you have a very strange mix of characters and they ride other hippos. It’s kind of like cowboys on hippos instead of horses…lol. It seems that everyone is pretty much just looking out for themselves and it doesn’t make for a great team. Houndstooth is more out for revenge than carrying about wrangling up hippos.
In the end since this was a novella I feel like it just didn’t have enough story to really pack a punch. It might be a good build up for book two I am not sure but I have it coming as a review audio so I guess I will give the second one a try and see if it gets any better.
I thought the premise for this one sounded really cool and even cooler when I found out she actually got the idea from actual articles about the government thinking about doing this at one time. She took that and gave it her spin on what might have happened if it actually did take place and that is cool. I just wanted more hungry man eating hippo action. 🙂