by James Fahy
A third of the human population has been lost.
The wars came, and they created a monster. The Pale, a subhuman, vampire-like drone. Then they lost control.
In the thirty years that followed, humankind sought to rebuild itself within the walls of New Oxford.
But society had become fractured – humans now lived incongruously among Genetic Others, themselves a group of many subspecies.
The most dangerous of them all: the vampires.
Somehow, these groups have managed a peaceful co-existence under the controlling government influence of the Cabal. But that is all about to change…
When Phoebe Harkness receives a phone call in the middle of the night, things take a turn to the horrifying. Her supervisor at Blue Lab One, a high-security research facility, has gone missing.
And all that is left behind: her teeth.
Dr Harkness now finds herself in a race against time to stop further bloodshed and uncover the mystery behind the victims of this horrific crime. She must navigate the dark underworld of the vampire community, without becoming someone’s prey herself…
But she is not alone – on her side, against all odds, is another vampire. Together they must fight for answers before it’s too late…
Hell’s Teeth is the gripping first instalment of the urban gothic Phoebe Harkness series. It follows the young doctor as she stalks through the corrupt dystopia of New Oxford.”
Hell’s Teeth was my first read by this author, and a recommendation via Instagram. I wasn’t sure what to expect except vampires, since urban gothic isn’t my usual genre, but I think it’s earned itself more of my attention!
Hell’s Teeth jumps straight into the story, and draws you in right away through it’s action-filled plot, its lore of the world and – my favourite – the MC’s sarcasm.
Phoebe Harkness is a scientist working on a cure for mankind’s own fabricated nightmare. Without wanting to give away too much – there are monsters outside the save walls of New Oxford, and they waste no time tearing into their prey. They are faster, more resilient and far more violent than people, and they were created by humans. Naturally, humans can’t control them, and Phoebe is the scientist in charge of developing a cure.
The plot moves quickly from the first page on. There wasn’t one moment when I wondered if a chapter was really necessary, not one character I thought it could have done without – everything is justified, everything and everyone moves the plot along. It’s gripping right from the start, and thanks to Phoebe’s marvellous sarcasm I bonded with her very quickly. Honestly, I think we’re soul mates.
The characters aside, it’s the lore of the world that kept me turning the pages. There are vampires, werewolves, necromancers – but not quite like we know them, and just enough information is given without dumping too much info on the reader at once. In fact, not much at all is said about the other races. Hell’s Teeth focuses on their vampires, so, while the other races are mentioned and we get a bit of information, we don’t get so much that it wouldn’t make sense in the context. We don’t receive info for the sake of it, and it’s left me really curious about the sequel.
There were a couple of minor things which bugged me slightly; there were small inconsistencies in spelling, a few tense changes, and other minor things like that, but nothing that made me want to stop reading. On the contrary – I was sad every time I had to put it down, and all those positives more than made up for it.
Overall this was a thrilling read, with a fascinating world which I loved exploring, and well-known races with fresh twists. This was my first urban gothic read, but it won’t be my last!
Have you read Hell’s Teeth, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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