All myths have a kernel of truth. The truth is: vampires are real. They’ve always been here, but only came out of hiding in the last cent...

Review of Teeth

All myths have a kernel of truth. The truth is: vampires are real.

They’ve always been here, but only came out of hiding in the last century. They are not what Hollywood would have you believe. They are not what is written in lore or whispered by the superstitious.

They look and act like humans. They live and love and die like humans. Puberty is just a bit more stressful for those with the recessive gene. And while some teenagers worry about high school, others dread their next set of teeth.

Vampires are real, but in a social climate still struggling to accept that truth, do teeth alone make them monsters?

Forget everything you thought you knew about vampires.  Excuse me, the politically correct term is lamians. That's right. Vampire is now a derogatory term. Kelli Owens creates an entirely new twist on the vampire mythology. Lamians have an amino acid deficiency. The "change" happens in your teens, because being a teenager isn't tough enough. Canine teeth get loose and fall out, only to be replaced by shiny new ones. Being a lamian also comes with some new abilities. While they are extremely long-lived, they are not immortal. 

Prejudices are alive and well in Teeth. From the mother whose parents hid her own change, even from herself, to the mother who is so deeply entrenched in bigotry that she is afraid of her own son,  there is plenty of discrimination to go around. Rooted deep within this story, is another of envy and admiration, with a character who would do anything to become lamian...and does.

The characters are truly what shines in Teeth. There are teenagers going through the change, who are afraid of losing friends and popularity when the truth comes out. There is the mother whose parents pulled her teeth and gave her braces to hide the truth from everyone (including their daughter) who now wants only the best for her own daughter. One aspect I enjoyed was the Lamplight Foundation, a group established to educate and support lamians.

If you are worried that this all sounds too political... After all, exchange lamian for any other group throughout our history that has been repressed and even feared, and Teeth hits close to home. However, it's so well enmeshed with the characters' stories that it doesn't feel like the author is lecturing us on our own dark societal issues.  

There's also a very human serial killer in the midst. While this presents a great horror aspect, some of the scenes took me aback. Oh, not the slashing and blood spatter that would make Dexter proud, or the jarring and drinking of blood, but some, er...more "hands on" experience with the blood. Ew. 

If you are tired of the typical vampire tropes, Teeth gives you something new to sink your teeth into. (Sorry, not sorry.) 

4 Paws Up!

4 paws up

About the Author

Kelli Owen is the author of more than a dozen books--her fiction spanning from thriller and psychological horror, to an occasional bloodbath, and the even rarer happy ending. She was an editor and reviewer for over a decade, and has attended countless writing conventions, participated on dozens of panels, and spoken at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA regarding both her writing and the field in general. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she now lives in Destination, Pennsylvania.