Wednesday, 7 January 2015

'Teeth' (Teeth #1) by Chele Cooke

*This review will contain spoilers!* 

First off, I need to send a massive thank you to Chele, for sending me a free copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review. I requested it just before Christmas, and I've sped through my other reads over the holiday season because of how excited I was for this one - boy howdy I was not disappointed!
Throughout 'Teeth', we follow three perspectives: Thomas, Spencer and August. Thomas is a newbie vampire, turned just before the start of the novel and learning to come to terms with his new paranormal life and what it means for his career as a medical intern. Spencer is a slightly older vampire, helping Thomas through the transformation and teaching him how to be a good vampire, and August is the oldest of the three of them, thought of as the leader of their coven, taking orders and reporting back to the oldest vampire of them all, Charles.
I have read a lot of multiple perspective books where I've been left with a flat feeling, because the characters have all been too similar, but that is not a problem at all in 'Teeth'. Chele Cooke has a talent with her writing style in that all of her characters feel completely fleshed out even after we've only been with them for a few pages, and that sucked me in. Too often, minor characters are bland, included as a literary device to force the story in a certain direction, but they all felt so real and I found myself feeling all sorts of emotions for these characters. Usually in shorter novels (this book is only 200 pages!) it's difficult to really get a feel for anything, to really get involved and sucked in, but it was all just so well described, the characterisation so complete, that it already felt as if I knew them.
'Teeth' is the first book in a series of I'm not sure how many books, and at times it does read like that - the novel is much more based on the emotional than on action, but that's refreshing in a vampire novel; too often they constantly revolve around epic showdowns and we don't get as much from the characters, so it was refreshing to get into the heads of the vampires more. The description of Thomas's sire bond with Cleo at the start of the novel held a palpable obsession that was equal parts intriguing and worrying, and the later reveal of August and Spencer's sire bond, and the emotions that Spencer went through when he found out he had been manipulated, was also extremely well written.
I don't really have much to say about this novel, because I loved it so much. There were no negatives, there were no scenes that bored me or that I thought were unnecessary, and there wasn't a single character that I thought seemed meaningless. The inclusion of minor character Heather, an author who writes vampire romance novels, was quite funny, and even though she was only in it for a scene you got a sense of who she was, which is something not many authors can do.
The only thing that I felt was disappointing was the length of the novel, because I just wanted it to keep going and going. The second book in the series, 'Meat', can't come quickly enough, and I'm going to keep an eye out for it, get it as soon as it's released and read it within a day, because this novel is very addictive and I was very pleased with it. The climax of the novel, with the reveal that werewolves also exist in this world, was cleverly written and placed in a way that it's impossible not to continue on once you've read the first book, and it seems obvious that the second novel will focus on the rivalry between the vampires and werewolves, but I'm also interested to see how Thomas and Paige's relationship develops, and how/if the dynamic between Spencer and August shifts following the reveal of his manipulation.
If you're looking for a vampire novel with a difference, I highly recommend this one - it manages to juggle both the romanticised and idealised version of vampires with the violent and predatory nature, making it the perfect mix for this type of novel. Bravo, Chele. Bravo.


  1. Alyce,

    Thank you for such a lovely review. I'm beaming very broadly over here.
    I'm really glad that you enjoyed Teeth and its characters. I had so much fun writing them (and yep, Heather was one of my favourites. She HAD to be in the book.)

    Thanks again.

    1. Chele,

      Thank you again for sending it to me. It was the first time I decided to take a leap of faith, be brave and message an author, and it definitely paid off!

      I'm so glad Heather was one of your favourites - she better feature in book two as well!