Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction

Hell’s Teeth by James Fahy – Phoebe Harkness #1

Why did I decide to read this novel? Well, I received the sequel on NetGalley without realizing, and I knew that in order to give a proper review, I would have to read the first book in the series. Otherwise it would not have made any sense. Also, I have always been particular about reading novels in order, whenever possible. Anyways, I went on the hunt for the first book. And trust me when I say that it was NOT easy. My local bookstore does not carry this book. My library does not carry this book. Amazon wouldn’t ship this book. Finally, I gave in and created a Kindle account and downloaded the book through Kindle Unlimited. While it was a hassle to get to this novel, after reading it, I must admit that it was worth the effort!

The world has gone through a war that it could never have imagined. Humans created a monster, The Pale, a subhuman, vampire-like killing machine that was supposed to become a military weapon. But when they lost control, it took every single person – both human AND non-human to band together to fight against these aberrations. 30 years after this war, humankind now reluctantly coexists with Genetic Others, a group of many subspecies. It is an uneasy truce that is controlled by the government influence of the Cabal, a powerful organization. But when Phoebe Harkness, a scientist, receives a phone call in the middle of the night, she realizes that the world she has lived in is not as peaceful as she once believed. She reaches her lab, only to discover that her supervisor has gone missing – and all that is left of her is her teeth. Phoebe finds herself going undercover to find out who is behind this atrocious crime, and what their motive is. But she must be careful, lest she become that person’s prey herself.

This novel reminded me of the Sookie Stackhouse series with its descriptions of vampire clubs and the split opinions on integration of vampires and Genetic Others into human society. However, the comparison stops there. This novel was interesting, unique, and had a good blend of science, technology, and adventure to keep me going. I literally did not put this book down once, and finished it in a record 4 hours!

The main character, Phoebe, is a force to be reckoned with. She is smart, funny, and spunky as hell – she was the ultimate badass. She reacted like any sane person in times of danger and always had a witty comeback. In essence, she was an amazing protagonist that anyone would love. The other characters in this story worked very well in conjunction with the protagonist, and complimented her in the right way. The only character sketch that I didn’t enjoy was that of the main antagonist; it was a little too “mob” like for my taste. But even then, it just added to the comedy of the scene, and didn’t take away from the story.

While the story was quite humorous at times, there was also enough seriousness and intrigue to keep me from dismissing this story as “fluff.” Genetic experimentation, military weaponization, secret rituals… this novel had a bit of everything and developed them very well. Every time something new was discovered, I wanted to know how Phoebe would deal with it, what the aftermath of this knowledge would be, and how this fact would be used to take the story further. And the author delivered on all of those counts.

Overall, this novel is funny, intelligent, and intriguing. I am so glad that I decided to read this book, and I am extremely excited to read the sequel! If you are looking for an urban supernatural story with a lot of wit and and suspense, then don’t pass on this novel!

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