Review of River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey

I borrowed a copy of Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
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.

Awesome cover and really interesting plot, with the hippos and all. I liked the alternative history and the characters. I liked the wildly diverse cast and the speech patterns. I thought the writing was clean and easy to read. But I also thought it was all just a little too vague. There were aspects of the plot skimmed over that left me uncertain how or why some things happened. The book is only 170 pages long. There was plenty of room to fill it out more. I’ll be happy to read the sequel though. Because for all its faults,it was just plain fun.

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