Title: A Tooth for a Fang
Author: Liv Olteano
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 216 Pages
At a Glance: Highly recommended!
Blurb: Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.
The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.
Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
Review: A Tooth for a Fang is a different take on the shifter genre, which I appreciated. I really enjoyed the world building and the issues touched on in this book, too. However, I still had a problem with the dub-(almost non)-consensual aspect of the mating/turning. It really made you think about the genre itself and why we like these types of books. Not just the whole Alpha/beta, Dominant/submissive aspect either, which, in general could be said for all shifter books. Olteano actually touched on the possibility of abuse and mistreatment, though. I liked that. It wasn’t completely brushed off, and it took the MC, Rick, the entire book to adjust to the fact he was in a new relationship after just coming out of an abusive one.
To me, Travis was an ass and not particularly likeable, but he kinda grows on you, like an unfortunate fungus. He did have some abusive tendencies like Rick’s ex, Mitch; however, Travis did not condone Rick’s treatment at Mitch’s hand. I like that he stood by Rick and let him guide the way their relationship developed in spite of him being the Alpha. Olteano’s handling of this topic was subtle and delicate.
I would seriously like to see more development in this area, especially for Weiss to get his comeuppance for his part in the not-quite-villain Amanda’s creation. I don’t see it happening, though, because this sort of thing was the norm in the world, and Amanda was described as insane. But, as a balance, Rick manages to turn this around slightly and present it to the governing Council as a way to prevent further abuse.
The world building and creatures were fantastic. I love Olteano’s take on the genre, that there was a difference from the regular werewolves, lycans, and vampires tropes, even while some remained. I adored Naty, the Doc nicknamed Tail, and would seriously like to read her story. I loved that Rick stood up to Travis about her, and I would like to see more of the coroner, an actual honest to goodness female troll named Lora. Tatiana, Travis’ sister, was also an interesting character I would like to know more about.
I loved the X-files/M.I.B feel to the story, and while I kinda wish there had been more development to the relationship and the trust issues mentioned, it bears saying that this wasn’t a quick let’s jump each other’s bones and then we are in true, forever love. Yes, there was sexual tension and lust, but it wasn’t the focus. And when it does happen, it’s almost like release on Rick’s part, even though it ties him tighter to Travis.
The story is complete with the mysteries being somewhat solved, although it leaves just enough of an enticement for a sequel. I hope the author revisits this world because she is now on my watch list.
You can buy A Tooth for a Fang here: