December 08, 2021

#BookReview: The River Has Teeth by @ELWaters

Synopsis: Natasha’s sister is missing.

Her car was found abandoned on the edge of a local nature preserve known as the Bend, but as the case goes cold, Natasha’s loss turns to burning anger.

She’ll do anything to find answers.

Della’s family has channeled magic from the Bend for generations, providing spells for the desperate. But when Natasha appears on her doorstep, Della knows it will take more than simple potions to help her.

But Della has her own secrets to hide.

Because Della thinks she knows the beast who’s responsible for the disappearance — her own mother, who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong.

Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose.

They are each other’s only hope.


Rating: 4 Stars
My Review: This one took me some time to get into. And it wasn't until around 40% that I really started enjoying it.  I liked the LGBT feel and the contemporary thriller plot.  The POV worked well overall and I would love to see another book by this author. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—In this fast-paced fantasy, Waters tells the story of women—mothers, daughters, aunts, and partners—who are driven by their love for one another. Della Lloyd is a teenage witch who lives on the Bend, the parkland alongside a river that has been the source of her family's magic for generations. When she meets Natasha Greymont, their attraction is unmistakable, but there's one problem: Natasha's sister is missing and Della's mother may be responsible. This book has a thriller's pacing but it is also beautifully atmospheric as it shows Della's cluttered house smelling of earth and herbs and the foggy river bottom running by the Lloyds' house. Through this tale of sirens and monsters, Waters reaches for a deeper meaning—a story about women who band together against those who would victimize them. While this message is compelling, this book centers the experiences of white characters while using a Black character, Georgia, to speak about the disproportionate violence against women of color. As a secondary character, Georgia's perspective feels like an afterthought in an otherwise well-developed story around Natasha and Della. VERDICT A moving, if imperfect, fantasy about the strength of women, recommended for those who enjoy thrillers with a social justice bent.—Talea Anderson, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA.  --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


This genre-blending contemporary thriller offers a searing indictment of men who prey on women while the book's fantasy elements offer a form of revenge and resolution...Potent, atmospheric, and wholly satisfying.

-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
  --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

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