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Yeah these books are fantastic - I've never seen such a great fat character (Archie4lyf) and I loooved that the love interest is non-binary. Yay Hero. Read this, also bring tissues because EUGH my HEART.
Great continuation of River of Teeth that plays with the reader's feelings through a unwilling separation/thinking-the-others-are-dead/almost-meeting-but-then-passing-each-other plot following the events of the previous book. The stakes were higher than ever, which combined with the above mentioned separation plot made it very exciting to read! However, I found it a bit weaker than the previous book because it leaves so many questions unanswered. Some new characters appear who clearly have a deeper motive for their actions, yet those are never revealed, along with forgetting about left-over plot threads from book1 that I really wanted to be picked up.
Still an amazing series with a great cast and fantastic worldbuilding, and ultimately a happy ending!
Content warnings include, death by hippo (and other means), a baby is kidnapped, breast infection that is somehow related to breastfeeding, meaning a character spends most of the book sick, violence, mentions of giving birth.
Im ersten Band habe ich nie noch etwas dünne Story kritisiert, die, kaum angefangen, schon wieder beendet war. Taste of Marrow schließt direkt an den Geschehnissen des ersten Bandes an, es sind kaum zwei Monate vergangen. Da Setting und Charaktere bekannt sind, wirft einen Gailey gleich direkt in die Geschichte und das tut dem Buch wirklich gut - zwar ist die Handlung immer noch nicht superkomplex, aber deutlich unterhaltsamer. Das kann auch daran liegen, dass jetzt die Figuren noch etwas gleichmäßiger beleuchtet werden. Alles in allem kann ich diese zwei Bände empfehlen und empfele auch, die dam Stück zu lesen. Ich verstehe ohnehin nicht, warum man nicht ein Buch (in zwei Teilen meinethalben) draus gemacht hat. Das hätte dem Setting gut getan!
I think the story, including the first installation, suffers from forced dialogue and an intention to make the characters memorable with one liners. The world constructed is quite interesting but both books had a similar climax and it felt a bit repetitive even if there were abundant differences between them. All in all it was a good effort but since I liked the 1st installment better I think this one deserves one star less.
I was very excited to be reunited with these characters once more, as well as their foul mouths and a mess of hungry, feral hippos.
After the Harriet caper, Winslow and Archie are separated from Hero and Adelia and her newborn, Ysabel. Winslow has been contacting everyone he knows in an attempt to find out if Hero is truly alive or dead and Archie is doing her best to make sure her tortured friend eats and sleeps. Hero and Adelia have an uneasy truce after the events of the first book and bond after her daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom.
The two groups operate in tandem, circling each other in a satisfyingly frustrating way – as the reader, I know they’re so close to discovering each other, yet they keep passing by each other.
I wasn’t a fan of Winslow’s change of personality in this book. He was fairly cool in crisis situations during the first book and while his feelings for Hero were obvious, it didn’t seem like their relationship had evolved enough for him to be such a hot mess after discovering Hero’s possible demise. I wasn’t clear whether or not the two knew each other before they teamed up in the first book, but even if they had, their relationship was new. Winslow becomes an insane, frenzied, maniac, pining for Hero and doing his best to find out whether they are still alive. He’s terrible to Archie, he stops caring about his appearance and general health and he was incredibly annoying to read about. I think that behavior would have annoyed me had the two been together for a decade, but at least it would have made more sense. Winslow’s feelings just seemed way too intense for the relationship that had been established.
Winslow’s personality upheaval gave me a chance to focus my attention on other characters though. We get a bit more depth from Archie and Adelia and Hero as well, I suppose. I find Hero somewhat confusing – they are almost too mellow and a little bland. I’d like to know more about their past and their expertise with poisons and explosions and I think that would liven things up a bit.
As usual, the hippos are awesome. There’s plenty of chomping and death via massive hippo jaws. But, there could have been even more! I’m totally into being freaked out by hippos hungry for flesh and I’m definitely down for creepy swamp vibes.
If you enjoyed River of Teeth, I don’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy Taste of Marrow. I’ve now read all the Sarah Gailey I can get my hands on and I’m very much ready for more!
Readers looking for a fun, fast-paced adventure with a fascinating alternate historical premise will thoroughly enjoy Sarah Gailey's novellas "River of Teeth" and "The Taste of Marrow." Gailey delivers it all: Action, romance, and more that a little suspense, all steeped in the blood spilled by the hungry hippopatami that haunt the Mississippi River in this bold, western-style tale.
Just as deighful as as the word Gailey has built is the diversity among the band of anti-hero outlaws that the plot follows. Everyone deserves the experience of picking up a book and seeing characters that represent them, and for some of us, those oportunities are rare to the point of extinction. Gailey seems to understand that readers who can suspend disbelief for hippo cowboys, nefarious river barons, and wild-west heists should have no problem with a pregnant contract killer, a fat femme con artist, or a genderqueer/nonbinary demolitions expert. I eagerly await the time when more authors will follow her lead.
In the meantime, I hope Gailey isn't done adventuring in her hippo-infested version of the Civi War-era Baton Rouge. More books, please!