Published by Tor.com on September 12, 2017
View Title on Goodreads
Bantering Books Rating:
A few months ago, Winslow Houndstooth put together the damnedest crew of outlaws, assassins, cons, and saboteurs on either side of the Harriet for a history-changing caper. Together they conspired to blow the damn that choked the Mississippi and funnel the hordes of feral hippos contained within downriver, to finally give America back its greatest waterway.
Songs are sung of their exploits, many with a haunting refrain: "And not a soul escaped alive."
In the aftermath of the Harriet catastrophe, that crew has scattered to the winds. Some hunt the missing lovers they refuse to believe have died. Others band together to protect a precious infant and a peaceful future. All of them struggle with who they've become after a long life of theft, murder, deception, and general disinterest in the strictures of the law.
Bantering Books Review
Sarah Gailey did it!
Well . . . kinda sorta.
Gailey definitely steps it up a bit in Taste of Marrow, the final novella in their alternate-history, hippo-laden, River of Teeth duology. The improvement in the writing is almost immediately noticeable — by the second or third page, in fact.
Marrow is more solid than its predecessor, all the way around. The prose is impressive. The characters are further developed. There is an added emotional element to the story, which was not present AT ALL in River.
All of Gailey’s improvements, however, aren’t quite enough to get my rating up to a full four stars.
It’s partly because this time around, my beloved characters are split up into two separate groups for the majority of the novella. I sorely missed their interactions. It’s so much more fun when Houndstooth and the gang are all together.
There are also some pacing problems — some parts are too slow, while others are too rushed. The rhythm of the story is a tad bit uneven.
In hindsight, I do think that perhaps the entire River of Teeth story arc would’ve worked better if both novellas had been written as one full-length novel. Many of the problems I have with the duology could’ve been resolved if Gailey had just had more space and time to flesh out the story.
But you know what?
Marrow still has a large enough dose of wild, feral-hippo excitement to keep me happy.
And there are enough moments of cute hippo love to warm my animal-lovin’ heart.
So, in case you’re wondering . . .
Yes . . . I still LOVE hippos.