River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey
Did you know that in the early twentieth century, Congress planned to fix America’s meat shortage by importing hippos and raising them in Louisiana’s bayous? I sure as heck didn’t. The plan sadly fell through though, and Americans went on to live the free-range hippo-less lives we know so well today. Sarah Gailey’s action-packed and insanely fun novella, River of Teeth, imagines what life in the 1890s might have been like if Congress succeeded and ranchers raised hippos rather than beef.
One of those ranchers (turned mercenary hippo wrangler through a series of unfortunate events) is the charming and enigmatic Winslow Houndstooth. Winslow, a bisexual Englishman of questionable repute, is tasked by the U.S. government to assemble a crack team to help deal with a sudden influx of feral hippos. Winslow’s crew is a rag-tag bunch of wonderfully diverse, refreshingly non-heteronormative characters that includes a con-woman, a pregnant professional killer, and a demolitions expert. But while the feral hippos are terrifying, Winslow (and readers) soon discover that the humans in River of Teeth can be much, much worse.
Needless to say, River of Teeth is a bonkers, action-packed, Magnificent Seven-inspired romp through the delta that is full to the brim with violence, romance, revenge plots, and, of course, hippos.