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The River Has Teeth

The River Has Teeth

by Erica Waters

Narrated by Katherine Littrell, Sura Siu

Unabridged — 11 hours, 4 minutes

Erica Waters
The River Has Teeth

The River Has Teeth

by Erica Waters

Narrated by Katherine Littrell, Sura Siu

Unabridged — 11 hours, 4 minutes

Erica Waters

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Overview

Lush and chilling, with razor-sharp edges and an iron core of hope, this bewitching, powerhouse novel of two girls fighting back against the violence the world visits on them will stun and enchant readers.

Girls have been going missing in the woods¿

When Natasha's sister disappears, Natasha desperately turns to Della, a local girl rumored to be a witch, in the hopes that magic will bring her sister home.

But Della has her own secrets to hide. She thinks the beast who's responsible for the disappearances is her own mother-who was turned into a terrible monster by magic gone wrong.

Natasha is angry. Della has little to lose. Both are each other's only hope.

From the author of Ghost Wood Song, this eerie contemporary fantasy is perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Bone Gap. 

Praise for Ghost Wood Song:

“A gorgeous, creepy gem of a book.” -Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn and Sawkill Girls

"It will make your heart dance." -Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

"Strikes the perfect balance of atmospheric chills, dark familial secrets, and a yearning for the warm comforts of home.” -Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows

“Waters' debut features a bisexual lead with both male and female love interests, an atmospheric southern gothic setting, and, for the musically inclined, lots of folk and bluegrass references.” -Booklist

“Haunting and alluring.” -Kirkus



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

05/31/2021

When wealthy white college student Rochelle Greymont disappears near a Tennessee nature park, her 16-year-old sister, Natasha, becomes convinced that Rochelle’s boyfriend, Jake Carr, is responsible. The police disagree, so a vengeful Natasha pays 17-year-old Della Lloyd—the white descendant of Scottish witches whose house abuts the nature park—for a potion that will make Jake confess. Della complies, largely to redirect attention away from her mother, Ruby, whom she fears actually killed Rochelle. The previous year, a botched spell kick-started Ruby’s transformation into a wrathful river siren, and though Della and her Da keep Ruby locked in a nearby abandoned prison to protect herself and others, she occasionally escapes. Della initially has no compunction about misleading Natasha, but it’s not long before attraction sparks between them. Natasha and Della co-narrate, trading chapters. This horror-tinged tale from Waters (Ghost Wood Song) spotlights issues of racial and socioeconomic injustice. Convenient plotting abounds, the girls’ romance feels manufactured, and Natasha’s outsize fury can border on caricature, but Waters’s lushly written story is stocked with capable female characters of various ethnicities and sexual orientations. Ages 13–up. Agent: Lauren Spieller, Triada US. (July)

From the Publisher

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)

“A backwoods murder ballad of a book that draws from the old songs and legends that underpin so many areas of rural America. [The River Has Teeth] is well worth a listen.” — NPR

"Soft and seething, with an undercurrent of longing and rage, THE RIVER HAS TEETH is the perfect story for anyone who is tired of feeling helpless. This book has teeth, too." — Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf

"Waters weaves a spell on the page, seeped with dark and murky magic, both beautiful and terrifying, just as her girls are beautiful and terrifying. Set loose upon the Bend, Natasha and Della are two forces crashing into one another with a strength that makes their world tremble." 
— Emma Berquist, author of Missing, Presumed Dead

"Packed with monstrous magic and a wicked bite, The River Has Teeth is the perfect read for fans of Beware the Wild and Wilder Girls. Fierce and flawless." — Kat Ellis, author of Harrow Lake

“Full of fierce women and wild magic, The River Has Teeth is a captivating story of love, grief, and the power of anger. From its eerie opening pages to its gripping finale, it kept me enthralled.” — Kate Alice Marshall, author of Rules for Vanishing

The River Has Teeth is one of those books I could not put down—even when I knew I should. The lush, haunting story gave me the most gorgeous nightmares I’ve ever had.”  — Kylie Schachte, author of You're Next 

“With its witches, monsters, and missing girls, The River Has Teeth is a hypnotic, suspenseful read.”  — Wendy Heard, author of She’s Too Pretty to Burn

“This horror-tinged tale from Waters (Ghost Wood Song) spotlights issues of racial and socioeconomic injustice…. [A] lushly written story.” — Publishers Weekly

“A cathartic portrait of two girls’ anger toward a world whose cruelty and injustice forced them to fight back. The River Has Teeth delivers ferociously good thrills.” — BookPage

“Waters’ southern gothic thriller cleverly uses magic as a metaphor for the ways women resist the harm that men do.” — Booklist

Praise for GHOST WOOD SONG:   “What a gorgeous, creepy gem of a book, brimming with magic, mystery, music, and so much love that you’ll ache as if these characters were your actual friends. Ghost Wood Song weaves a captivating spell you won’t want to break.”  — Claire Legrand, New York Times bestselling author of Furyborn and Sawkill Girls

"Ghost Wood Song sings a high and lonesome love song to family, to place, to music, and to love itself. It will make your heart dance." — Jeff Zentner, Morris Award winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

"These haunted pages are full to bursting with intricate family dynamics, a nuanced queer romance, and a crescendo of an ending readers won’t see coming. With notes of southern gothic and mystery, Ghost Wood Song will strike a chord with fans of The Raven Boys and Beautiful Creatures." — Rosiee Thor, author of Tarnished Are the Stars

"Strikes the perfect balance of atmospheric chills, dark familial secrets, and a yearning for the warm comforts of home. I could hear the cicadas' call and feel the smothering humidity, even as I shivered!" — Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author, House of Salt and Sorrows

"Ghost Wood Song is a dusky, haunting daydream of a debut that hits all the right notes." — Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights and editor of His Hideous Heart

“A gorgeously written debut filled with ghosts, a queer love triangle, a murder mystery, & a healthy dose of bluegrass. When you finish, you’ll want to turn back to page one and start all over again.”  — Amanda Lovelace, author of The Princess Saves Herself in this One

“Waters' debut features a bisexual lead with both male and female love interests, an atmospheric southern gothic setting, and, for the musically inclined, lots of folk and bluegrass references. For teens with a penchant for eerie ghost stories, this lyrical tale will hit the spot.” — Booklist

“Debut author Waters weaves an intense and spectral atmosphere with vivid prose…Haunting and alluring.” — Kirkus Reviews

Wendy Heard

With its witches, monsters, and missing girls, The River Has Teeth is a hypnotic, suspenseful read.” 

Kate Alice Marshall

Full of fierce women and wild magic, The River Has Teeth is a captivating story of love, grief, and the power of anger. From its eerie opening pages to its gripping finale, it kept me enthralled.

Kat Ellis

"Packed with monstrous magic and a wicked bite, The River Has Teeth is the perfect read for fans of Beware the Wild and Wilder Girls. Fierce and flawless."

BookPage

A cathartic portrait of two girls’ anger toward a world whose cruelty and injustice forced them to fight back. The River Has Teeth delivers ferociously good thrills.

Hannah Whitten

"Soft and seething, with an undercurrent of longing and rage, THE RIVER HAS TEETH is the perfect story for anyone who is tired of feeling helpless. This book has teeth, too."

Kylie Schachte

The River Has Teeth is one of those books I could not put down—even when I knew I should. The lush, haunting story gave me the most gorgeous nightmares I’ve ever had.” 

Emma Berquist

"Waters weaves a spell on the page, seeped with dark and murky magic, both beautiful and terrifying, just as her girls are beautiful and terrifying. Set loose upon the Bend, Natasha and Della are two forces crashing into one another with a strength that makes their world tremble." 

NPR

A backwoods murder ballad of a book that draws from the old songs and legends that underpin so many areas of rural America. [The River Has Teeth] is well worth a listen.

Claire Legrand

Praise for GHOST WOOD SONG:   “What a gorgeous, creepy gem of a book, brimming with magic, mystery, music, and so much love that you’ll ache as if these characters were your actual friends. Ghost Wood Song weaves a captivating spell you won’t want to break.” 

Jeff Zentner

"Ghost Wood Song sings a high and lonesome love song to family, to place, to music, and to love itself. It will make your heart dance."

Rosiee Thor

"These haunted pages are full to bursting with intricate family dynamics, a nuanced queer romance, and a crescendo of an ending readers won’t see coming. With notes of southern gothic and mystery, Ghost Wood Song will strike a chord with fans of The Raven Boys and Beautiful Creatures."

Booklist

Waters’ southern gothic thriller cleverly uses magic as a metaphor for the ways women resist the harm that men do.

Dahlia Adler

"Ghost Wood Song is a dusky, haunting daydream of a debut that hits all the right notes."

Amanda Lovelace

A gorgeously written debut filled with ghosts, a queer love triangle, a murder mystery, & a healthy dose of bluegrass. When you finish, you’ll want to turn back to page one and start all over again.” 

Erin A. Craig

"Strikes the perfect balance of atmospheric chills, dark familial secrets, and a yearning for the warm comforts of home. I could hear the cicadas' call and feel the smothering humidity, even as I shivered!"

Booklist

Waters’ southern gothic thriller cleverly uses magic as a metaphor for the ways women resist the harm that men do.

School Library Journal

07/01/2021

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.

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2021-05-17
When girls start disappearing in a Tennessee nature park, a family of local witches worries they’ll be blamed.

The Lloyds have lived on the Bend—an area bordering a river and the nature park—for generations, and the land is imbued with their Scottish forebears’ magic. The Bend, not their bloodline, is the source of the Lloyds’ power, but lately it’s felt corrupted, making their spells go awry and frightening off all but the most desperate customers. So when Natasha Greymont asks for help finding her missing sister, Rochelle, Della Lloyd is reluctant. The Greymonts’ wealth and status should grant them access to resources Della can’t even imagine, and solving the mystery may in turn destroy Della’s own family. But Natasha isn’t what she seems, and the two girls, both White, are irresistibly drawn together. Alternating chronological perspectives map their shift from antagonism to trust. There is a familiar, genuine rapport that grounds the recurring theme of chosen family between Natasha, who’s bi, and her pansexual best friend, Georgia Greer, who is cued as Black, as well as with Rochelle’s best friend, Margo Yoon, who is Korean and pansexual. 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. The broad narrative strokes that address the book’s intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender will prompt important conversations by readers.

Potent, atmospheric, and wholly satisfying. (Thriller. 12-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173348234
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/14/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews