Saturday Screams #33 ~ River Of Teeth

Posted: June 3, 2017 in Fantasy, reviews, Science Fiction
Tags: , , , , , ,

Welcome to my Saturday Screams.

I couldn’t resist this book. The title. The cover. The blurb. The hippos! Oh My!


River Of Teeth

by Sarah Gailey



Genre: Alternative History / Fantasy / Science Fiction

My Review

Being a southern gal, I’m always looking for stories set in my neck of the woods.  The author did a superb job describing the bayous and the muddy Mississippi. I heard the rising shrill of the cicadas, the buzz of the annoying mosquitoes, and the grunt of alligators. Caught a glimpse of huge alligator gars as they rolled on the surface, while being lulled by the back and forth swaying on top my hippo. Yes, I said hippo.

The US Government came up with the idea of importing hippos into Louisiana for a much needed food supply. Sounded like a good idea, but didn’t happen. Except, in this book it did. And now the hippos are feral and eating everything, including humans, making the river a dangerous place. A ragtag group of hippo wranglers enter the swamp to round them up. All is not as it seems.

I read somewhere that in Africa more people die from hippo attacks than any other animal. They hide under the water, move at tremendous speeds, and their teeth are gigantic. In this book you have hippos that the wranglers bond with from birth, making them safe to ride, most of the time. Then there’s the feral ones. No one wants to encounter them. When some of these characters come across a feral, it’s bloody mayhem.

The characters you meet are varied and odd. One of my favorites is Winslow Houndstooth. He’s usually somber and withdrawn, until you shake his hornets nest. Then he’d as easily kill ya as step on an ant. He’s a charmer and I loved how he could make men preen and blush from his attentions.

The writing is haunting, powerful, and visual. Such a superb job for this author’s debut.  The good guys aren’t all good and some bad guys aren’t all bad. Action, intrigue, and betrayal keep you glued to the story. And the hippos, I just couldn’t get enough of them.

Do I recommend this book? Most definitely. Will I be reading the second book? Hell yes!

   5  Stars



Sarah Gailey’s wildfire debut River of Teeth is a rollicking alternate history adventure that Charlie Jane Anders calls “preposterously fun.”

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.



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  1. Anna says:

    That plot is so absurd, I feel like the book go could either way– use the crazy plot well, or fail to capitalize on it and end up being a weird book. I’m glad that it turned out well! Haha…hippos man…I also can’t believe that anyone ever thought it was a good idea to import hippos to eat….?!

  2. Oh man…this sounds fabulous. I can only imagine how it would turn out and I don’t think it would be good. LOL
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. Greg Hill says:

    I need to read this now! I was leaning towards it anyway but after this review I gotta get a copy. Feral hippos… lol

  4. Could you imagine if they really did this? Crazy! Sounds like a great read!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Actually, I could! We have so many invasive species destroying the natural habitat here. Nothing as big and mean as hippos though! LOL

  5. Read so many reviews and I still didn’t know there WAS a second book 😀 wow.

  6. Savanah | Off-Color Literature says:

    Omg! I had seen a lot about this on Twitter and that they were giving away little hippo toys and stuff, but I never looked into what the book was about! That’s hilarious. I need to look into this.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I had such fun reading it. And the writing is superb. It’s surprising as this is her debut book!

  7. sjhigbee says:

    I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed this one – I have it on my Kindle ready to read and it keeps being bumped up the pile… Thank you for a great review, Laura:)

  8. Lelia T says:

    Awesome, have to get this!

  9. Heidi says:

    I ran across this putting together a Friday Forecast and I totally wanted to read it, but got denied on NG. Now I have it on hold on my library. I can’t wait after reading your review. Hippos will be the new shark.

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I won a book of choice and chose this one. Just browsed scary books on Amazon and hadn’t heard of it before!

  10. I’m wildly intrigued by this one too…Imean, HIPPOS! You don’t get them very often! I hope to read this at some point.

  11. Oh i love SATURDAY SCREAMS! That should be a proper meme! 😀 If it is already, please let me know 😀

    • fuonlyknew says:

      I thought about making it a meme but worried about how to get it started and it might not work being a weekend thing.

  12. hmmm something is wrong… my comments are not showing up immediately like they used to…