Book Review - Hell's Teeth

Did I pair my socks with the cover of James Fahy's  Hell's Teeth ?  Yes.  Yes, I did. :D  And I really rather like it!  Is that not an eerily gorgeous cover?  I usually hate models on covers because I want to imagine the characters myself, but I think this works.

Did I pair my socks with the cover of James Fahy's Hell's Teeth?  Yes.  Yes, I did. :D  And I really rather like it!  Is that not an eerily gorgeous cover?  I usually hate models on covers because I want to imagine the characters myself, but I think this works.

Currently drinking: some really lovely hot cocoa, which I think Phoebe Harkness would appreciate. :)  I don't know that she would like that I gingered it up, though.  Recipe for my dark chocolate and ginger syrup is at the end of today's review.

Currently drinking: some really lovely hot cocoa, which I think Phoebe Harkness would appreciate. :)  I don't know that she would like that I gingered it up, though.  Recipe for my dark chocolate and ginger syrup is at the end of today's review.

Star Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Buy the book: Amazon

Fun fact: I don't like post-apocalyptic stories.  Maybe it's because I just came across a glut of them a few years back, or maybe a certain series - naming no games of hunger - put me off of them... -.-  << That's my unimpressed/annoyed face for anyone who doesn't know.  Anyhoodles, futuristic, yep, totally cool.  As soon as a book says, "There was the war, and it destroyed the whole world!" I'm kind of out.  Maybe it's all the woe and wailing and misery.  I dunno; still trying to figure out why I have such a distaste for anything that falls into that realm.  That being the case, ***teeny spoiler alert*** it speaks volumes for James Fahy's Hell's Teeth that I like it so much, because it takes place in, you guessed it, a post-apocalyptic society.  ***End spoiler alert.***

The list of what I liked about it is big.  Really big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.  Look at that, a segue into the first thing on the list: references!!!  Maybe it's just me, but I loved all the references the Phoebe, the main character and narrator, makes.  The best one IMHO?  Captain Kathryn Janeway, folks!  The oft-overlooked badass of this quadrant, the Delta Quadrant, or any other quadrant you wanna name!  Sorry, my Trekkie love got really strong just there.  I also liked, though I don't know if this one was intentional, the use of the surname Trevelyan, because that is the name of the human Inquisitor from one of my most favorite video games: Dragon Age Inquisition.  Right, so lots of fun references!  What's next?  The sass!  Phoebe has such a great voice in this book, full of sarcasm and dry wit.  She's so enjoyable to read.  After that comes the great turns of the book.  There's one in the first chapter, which I think works especially well if you read the description on Amazon, which is a pretty safe bet to take.  More than once whilst reading this book I was pleasantly surprised by a shift or trick in the plot, most of which left me thinking, "Oh...snap.  That's gonna suck."  *GRIN!*  Aren't we readers sadistic sometimes in how we enjoy a character's misery?  >:D  Here's something else interesting.  Fahy does something that I think is rare with a lot of books and only works sometimes, but he pulled it off really well.  Parts of this book read like a movie because the descriptions were so...visual.  The picture painted for us as readers is vibrant and powerful, and that pulled me along in the story, making it one of those tales that was effortless to read through and provided proper deep enjoyment.  Finally, Hell's Teeth does something else that I think fantasy and sci-fi stories can do in such a subtle but efficacious way.  People who are different from us are dangerous, a threat to what we hold dear is such a common mindset in our world, and I appreciate it when stories can provide an objective look at an issue like this and discuss both sides, which this one does.

Well, that was quite a lot of praise and truly well deserved, I think.  So why the half star deduction?  It's a little bit of a technical issue actually.  There's always going to be a typo or two in any book.  Finding one is a game I like to play, but I found a couple bigger ones in Hell's Teeth that I felt like really should have been caught by the editor or someone in the process*.  Yes, I know I sound like a teacher grading papers, but a few of them were actually distracting.

*For the record, I don't count comma use.  That is the wild west of the punctuation world.

All in all, I think it's pretty clear that I absolutely loved the experience of reading this book.  I've already bought the second one in the series, and I heard there's a third one coming out soon.  Eh?  *Waggles eyebrows*.  I'll be keeping an eye out for that one too.  Thanks for reading!

As promised, here's a fun new recipe!

Gingered Dark Chocolate Syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 of a teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce ginger root, grated or sliced very thinly
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drop all the ingredients except the vanilla extract into a small pot.  Stir occasionally and cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble.  This shouldn't take more than about five or ten minutes.  Make sure all the sugar is dissolved and then remove from the heat.  Let sit for fifteen to twenty minutes to allow the flavor of the ginger to really infuse into the syrup.  Then add vanilla extract and stir to combine.  You can strain the mixture now if you want, but I leave my ginger bits in so that they can continue to give off flavor.  You'll just have to either avoid or deal with ginger bits down the road if you do this.  You can then use the syrup to flavor your coffee, make hot chocolate, drizzle over ice cream, eat it off the spoon...hey, no judgement.  What you do with your syrup is your business.  And it can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Enjoy!

What a Week!

As in, this was a very fast moving week, but it was mostly things that everyone else but me would find very boring to hear about (my parents came to visit, we did nothing to celebrate the 4th of July, and now the weekend is here again).  Yup, we are party animals.  This is why it's taken me several days to write this post...slow news week.

Let's talk cooking for a second.  I've done a new recipe!  And, most impressive of all, I actually wrote it down!!!  And by wrote it down I mean I asked the hubs to take dictation while I made it.  Hey, this is an improvement for me.  This was a great use-up-what's-in-the-fridge recipe, as that's pretty much what I did.

Summer Corn and Potato Soup

4 bacon strips, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 lb red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
3 ears of corn, shucked and kernels cut from cob (reserve the cobs)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups broth
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
Cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Cook the bacon on medium heat in a pan until crispy.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve about 1 tbsp of the fat.  Saute the celery in the bacon fat until it's soft.  Then add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute.  Add in all the other ingredients, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.  Now lower the heat to simmer and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve with cheddar cheese if desired.

Sooooooo yummy and warm! &nbsp;It's one of those dishes that just makes you feel good to eat. &nbsp;And, yes, we had funky rolls because there was one GF hamburger bun left, which served our purposes very well.

Sooooooo yummy and warm!  It's one of those dishes that just makes you feel good to eat.  And, yes, we had funky rolls because there was one GF hamburger bun left, which served our purposes very well.

And then there was the excitement with the kids the next day...

Oh my goodness, your puppies had fun!
— Sally, the BFF

I was not amused, not at all.  The children have since gotten into the trash can again, which makes three times now (there was an incident before with the hubs).  Three strikes and you lose privileges!  So my poor kids have lost some of their freedom when they're home alone.  Do not feel sorry for them; they are still the most spoiled fur-babies on the planet.

And back to cooking...I MADE MINCE PIES!  For any of my readers not familiar with this traditional British foodstuff, mince pies are like autumn and Christmas and joy and what love feels like and a sense of discovery wrapped up and baked into a simple shortcrust pastry.  Raisins and figs and allspice and cloves and apples and happiness make for a sweet and heavily spiced dessert.  They are my favorite!  Those of you who are familiar with mince pies may be wondering what the heck I'm doing making them in the middle of July?!  Well, dear readers, some friends of mine had a Christmas in July party.  I mean, I kind of had to. :-D  I use Alton Brown's recipe here, in case anyone is interested.  Also in case anyone is interested, I use bacon fat instead of beef suet because that's what I have on hand 100% of the time, as opposed to beef suet, which I have on hand 0% of the time.  Of course, you can always leave that out to make it vegetarian-friendly.

So, yeah, just some random stuff happened this past week.  Thanks for reading!