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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-03 10:00
River of Teeth / Taste of Marrow
River of Teeth - Sarah Gailey
Taste of Marrow (Kindle Single) (River of Teeth) - Sarah Gailey

Basically, if hippos had been imported into America in the 1800s as a potential livestock animal, what would it have been like? This is based on an actual proposal that didn't quite take off as well as it does in this alternative history series. The characters are unique and not the usual "straight (implied) white cis-gender protagonist" cast. I found the second book, Taste of Marrow, to have a bit of a plot hole or perhaps I just missed a bit somewhere, but otherwise great series so far. Hoping for more!

 

From Taste of Marrow:

 

"Alone and lonely ain't the same thing at all... You of all people should know that. And even if they were the same - you would think that being alone and retired would be no different from feeling alone in your job. But you'd be wrong."

 

"You kill the first one, and it's not as bad as you thought it would be. You kill the second one, and it's not better, not exactly. But it's more not-so-bad. You kill the third one and you realize that you're good at it... You start to get a reputation, and you realize that people think you're great at it. You start to take real pride in your work. You start to make real damn money... You dream about contracts and you start tasting your own poisons to get a feel for how they land in the gut, and you love it. And then you're doing it because you love it, and you think you've really found your calling. You're so fucking good at this... So you keep on mixing poisons and blasting vault doors open until you could do it in your sleep. And then one day, some kid shows up at your door and says that they've heard you're the best in the business, and you think -  am I? ...You realize... that you're only doing the job because you're good at it. That you only love it because you're good at it. You realize that somewhere along the way, you forgot that you're killing people. You don't feel a goddamn ounce of the remorse that your mother's preacher said you'd feel if you ever took another life - you just feel bored... You feel bored by the murders. And you wonder who you are, that you can say that about yourself - that you're bored by the murders."

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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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