Sharp Teeth

by Toby Barlow

"Anthony in love is unlikely in its grace, like a drunk with a magic trick. There's no reason it should work, but it does."

A dogcatcher, a private investigator, a couple of rival packs of werewolves, violence, love, loss and loyalty.  These things don't seem to fit together, but they do so well in Barlow's free-verse epic. Barlow writes many parallel stories that tumultuously merge in the heat of an LA desert.  

At the onset, Anthony gets a job at Animal Control, because of a curious job opening.  Other dogcatchers start disappearing mysteriously, as more and more dogs are brought in.  In another story, an alpha named Lark is overthrown by his pack of lycans.  At the same time, another pack is growing and growing. A police officer named Peabody is borderline obsessed with big dogs that seem to both appear and disappear at crime scenes. Anthony falls in love with a wolf who has left her pack, a wolf who will do whatever it takes to keep her secret hidden. 

This story is wrought with tension, passion, and revenge.  Every motivation is because of some kind of familial bond, because someone owes something to someone else, because of loyalty or lack of it.  The main characters are werewolves with no regard for the full moon; they can change whenever they like.  They blindly follow leaders, and murder senselessly.  But, somehow their stories are beautiful.  It's like all of the men and women have this new power that they could never have in their old lives.  They can finally be themselves, love themselves, and love others while they bare their sharp teeth and fur coats. 

Barlow's writing is extremely descriptive and suspenseful.  He had me believing and hoping in lycan love, right up until the last page. 

♥ Meg xoxo

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