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review 2017-09-13 20:51
Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey - My Thoughts
Taste of Marrow - Sarah Gailey

I pre-ordered this book (something I very very seldom do) because I enjoyed the first, River of Teeth, so much.  It was fresh it, it was different, it was intriguing and it was well written and peopled with lovely characters.  This book, Taste of Marrow, was still all that, but at a lower level, I'm afraid. 

Now, both books are novellas and I honestly think the story suffered from that in two ways.  First off, I felt that the story over both needed more fleshing out.  I wanted more... depth?  No, because what's there is plenty deep enough, but it just seemed that I wasn't getting the whole story as I should be.  I wanted more meat. 

And secondly, I don't know why it had to be split over two novellas.  The first half of this one, I didn't really understand why one of the main characters was so manically obsessed with finding one of the others - big love notwithstanding.  I still don't get why it was so manic and I suppose I'd have to go back and read the first one again to see.  And I only read that one in May!  Anyway, put them both together in one normal sized novel - it would only be 75K words or 260 some odd pages.  Not even CLOSE to epic.  *LOL*   I also had trouble remembering why one of the bad characters was so important to the whole story.  So yeah... a single novel please? 

The other thing that I found bothered me again was the gender-neutral use of the pronoun 'they'. It's bloody confusing, I'm sorry.  I apologise if that sounds insulting in anyway.  I have absolutely NO problem with gender-neutral/fluid people.  It's just that the word, after 55+ years of reading and 60 years of talking indicates more than one person to me.  I was confused so many times looking for the second or other people in the scene.  It brought me up short and took me right out of the story.  Which saddens me because I had to take off a .5 star for that because it did impact my enjoyment of the book. 

So yeah, I was somewhat disappointed by Taste of Marrow.  I do hope the author continues to write in this universe however, and maybe even with some of the same characters. 

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text 2017-08-15 00:39
Not what I had hoped.
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

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. :) 

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review 2017-07-11 19:48
Review: River of Teeth
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

There's a lot I like about this novella, but overall it's a bit not-quite-enough of something. The ensemble cast are all characters I'd like to know more about (with one exception, but that's fine, that character doesn't make it), but in a novella length work, I didn't get to spend quite enough time with any or all of them.

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url 2017-06-07 14:18
Celebrate Pride Month (from TOR.com)
Passing Strange - Ellen Klages
Down Among the Sticks and Bones - Seanan McGuire
The Drowning Eyes - Emily Foster
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey
Runtime - S. B. Divya
A Taste of Honey - Kai Ashante Wilson

TOR.com article linked to notes more about the linked books saying  "We’re kicking off Pride Month with a list of Tor.com novellas featuring LGBTQ+ characters. . . . Join us later in the month for a list of novels!..."

Source: www.torforgeblog.com/2017/06/01/celebrate-pride-month-with-tor-com
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review 2017-05-26 02:48
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey - My Thoughts
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey

I first heard about River of Teeth through one of the reading blogs I follow and I bought the novella for the simple reason that the blurb got me.  Especially this part:

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.


Feral hippos and hippo wranglers??  What?  Talk about an original idea!  I was sold.  I pre-ordered the book right away - a couple of months ago - and I hardly ever pre-order books.

 
It was not a wrong decision - I loved it!  The characters were original and interesting and bound together in interesting ways.  They kept me wanting to read page after page, fascinated and dying to see what they were going to get up to.  And the hippos... the HIPPOS!  I loved all of them. 
 
The world-building in this tale is intriguing even if it's a bit ... out of whack as per the author's note at the beginning of the book.  Who cares... IT WORKS!  And the story itself is a rollicking, fun, banter-filled adventure.  
 
And back to the characters.  They are a really diverse bunch.  Race, colour, creed, sexuality... hell, it's all diverse and not made a big deal of really which works just fine for me.  I like when the diversity is just a given in a story and not a plot point.  My only real problem was ... well, mechanical?  There is a character who is ... gender non-conforming?  I think that's the label.  Anyway, the character uses the 'they' pronoun.  Which is totally fine, but I've discovered that at the age of 60 and having 55 years of reading under my belt, when I read the words 'they' or 'them' or 'their' ... my brain looks for/understands multiple people and a couple if times I had to go back and see if the character was alone or had someone tagged along in the scene.  I suppose with more of these types of characters my brain will get used to it, but it was something that impacted me as I read. BTW, I adored the character in question!  :)  
 
My only real complaint is that it was too damned short!  I wanted a novel, not a novella.  Yes, it ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, but not one that made me want to send the ereader for a sail across the room.  Still, the characters were so good, the alternate reality so interesting that I wanted a lot more of it.  :)
 
Oh, and look at that lovely cover!  
 
The second book in the duology just went up for preorder today.  It's called Taste of Marrow.  And yes, I have pre-ordered it.
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