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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our Discussion of River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey

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. –Goodreads

Below is a sampling of our comments:

  • This was over the top – swashbuckling, but too short
  • The hippos had as much or more personality as the human characters
  • It read like a 2-hour Sci Fi channel movie
  • Camels were introduced to Australia in the 1840s to help with exploring the interior
  • The world-building was strong, but character development was not
  • I liked the gruesome parts – I never thought of hippos like this before
  • “It’s not a caper, it’s an operation!”
  • The timeline of events should have been at the beginning of the book, not the end
  • This is an alternate history, so the author is able to introduce non-binary characters
  • The map and the text didn’t match up – it would have been better not to include the map
  • Also, kneeling saddles are a real thing …

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about River of Teeth. We gave this title  an average rating of 2.6.

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