February 10, 2020 by TinyNavajo
American Hippo (River of Teeth #1-2) by Sarah Gailey
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*Published May 22, 2018*
For some fairly odd reason, this particular book was on the book river for All Things Country at my library. I didn’t understand it, but I love alternative views of history and this sounded like one that I could definitely get behind.
In 2017 Sarah Gailey made their debut with River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, two action-packed novellas that introduced readers to an alternate America in which hippos rule the colossal swamp that was once the Mississippi River. Now readers have the chance to own both novellas in American Hippo, a single, beautiful volume.
Years ago, in an America that never was, the United States government introduced herds of hippos to the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This plan failed to take into account some key facts about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two.
By the 1890s, the vast bayou that was once America’s greatest waterway belongs to feral hippos, and Winslow Houndstooth has been contracted to take it back. To do so, he will gather a crew of the damnedest cons, outlaws, and assassins to ever ride a hippo. American Hippo is the story of their fortunes, their failures, and his revenge.
At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
I love reading possibilities of what could have been. I love alternative universes. And this is a alternative universe where hippos had been released into the Mississippi as an alternative meat source 1. And what’s the best part of this alternative universe? There was a possibility of this actually happening, but it fell through.
Here, though, it didn’t fall through. In fact, it did work, too well! The hippos spread, far farther than anyone anticipated, and hippos are viscous! The vast Louisana bayous have been taken over by the hippos, and Winslow Houndstooth has been called upon to take back the bayous back from the hippos. To do so, Houndstooth calls up a team of experts to take on the hippos.
I flippin’ loved this set of short stories and the brief glimpse into the world of the 1890s where hippos roam the rivers. I’m always curious about the worlds we could have lived in, the split timelines of what could have happened. This is definitely a world that could have happened, there was actual legislation to release a herd of hippos into the Mississippi as an alternative meat source 2. While I’m glad to be living in the timeline that I am, I will always be curious about the world where hippos were imported.
What sort of alternative timelines are you interested in? Are they huge changes, or small changes? Comment below and let me know!