Published Date: May 22, 2018
Publishing Co.: Tor
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
River of Teeth
Imagine 1800s America, where instead of horses, cowboys and outlaws rode hippos. Oh yes, sweet gentle fiends, hippopotami. The most dangerous creature in Africa is intentionally brought to the United States as an alternative meat source during a meat shortage. But Americans always take things one step further, and now they’re also used as mounts. Of course, someone always has to fuck something up and there manages to be a massive hippo escape from a ranch. Now there are feral hippos that rule the rivers and marshes. Blood thirty, angry hippos.
In this novella we are introduced to a host of outlaws, hired for a high paid, high danger job. To rid a dam of the feral hippos. Doing so will release the dangerous feral hippos into the South, spreading their death and destruction even further. Jobs never go as planned, someone always wants the death dealing hippos to stay right where they are.
Taste of Marrow
The surviving characters from the first novella continue their adventures in this one. Adelia has given birth after kidnapping Hero. Houndstooth is obsessively searching for Hero, not quite convinced that they’re even alive. Archie is waiting for her handsome U.S. Marshal to show up after not hearing from him at their arranged rendezvous spot.
Adelia’s newborn is stolen during a surprise attack while her and Hero are traveling. She’s being forced to meet with a mysterious person who arranged her child’s kidnapping, to see what they intend for her and the child. Probably not the smartest idea for the mystery person, Adelia is an infamous assassin. Hero is helping her despite the fact that she stabbed them, and they’re a poison and explosives expert. Archie is a notorious pick pocket and scam artist, and Houndstooth is your general bad ass and they’re hot on Adelia and Hero’s trail.
There are a couple short stories at the end that cover Archie meeting her U.S. Marshal for the first time and how Houndstooth’s hippo Ruby got her gold-plated tusks.
I loved everything about these novellas. The characters, the world-building, the plot lines. You name it, it kicked all the ass. Most importantly, major kudos to the author for including a non-binary person. It was a perspective to get used to but only because we are a gender obsessed world. It was further proof that content of character is far more important that one’s gender.