River of Teeth

River of Teeth

Sarah Galley

I’d heard about this book which brought feral hippos to the Mississippi River in an alternate history. The concept is irresistible, so when I had a chance to pick up the book, I snatched it.

The story runs like this Houndstooth is asked to deal with the feral hippos in the Harriet, a swamp which is bordered on the north by a dam and the south by a gate. Travers is the owner of a number of riverboats in the Harriet where he runs a gambling empire using the hippos as deterrent and punishment. Houndstooth and his companions ride their domestic hippos as they put their plan into action.

My problem is the characters are hardly developed past their role in the operation. One is introduced only to produce a shock in the next chapter. Some of them have interesting relationships, but I have a hard time imagining them existing outside the action of the moment, as if they leaped fully formed onto the page.

Aside from this the book is an enjoyable enough read. The idea of the hippos and the implementation of them is well introduced (there is a sequel to arrive soon). There are sufficient moments in the book to carry it past the weakness of the characterization. If you like westerns in which role is more important than character, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you like to see what the auto does with a very strange concept, you’ll have fun.

I recommend the book for people who are looking for a fun read, who want to see what Sarah does with hippos in the Mississippi.

You can buy the book here.


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