Book review: Kingdom of Teeth by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

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Available from Amazon

“From twin writing duo Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, better known as The Sisters of Slaughter, comes a bizarro fairytale for adults.
Molarous is a secret kingdom in a land of myth and magic. Its citizens, the Hyperdontians, are a grotesque race of people whose teeth grow outside of their mouths and all over their bodies like beautiful skin-splitting tumors. But lately, the kingdom has been under attack by a vicious plague that devours the toothy subjects of Molarous whole, causing their once pearly-white armor to rot away to nothing. Their queen, Bicuspa, better known as the Tooth Fairy in our world, is desperate for a savior. By a twisted turn of fate, her wish is granted in the form of a dental school drop out by the name of Randy. He seems the unlikeliest of heroes, but can he defeat the tooth demon before it kills everyone in Molarous and steals the soul of every child on earth?
Mix the childhood myth of the Tooth Fairy with the gore and humor of Army of Darkness
 and you have a grotesque adventure tale that will leave your face aching and your heart spilling open.”

This is the first book I’ve read from Garza and Lason. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a ‘horror guy’. I’m not mad about horror, but I don’t shy away from a good horror story. Having said that, there are a lot of big horror fans (and horror writers) I know who have hyped these two up a fair amount. So when I found out that they had written a bizarro fairytale with a solid dose of horror by way of gruesome dental details, I’ll admit it piqued my interest.

Kingdom of Teeth is a story about a down-on-his-luck secretary/janitor working for his brother’s dental practise. He gets sucked into a fantasy world with tooth fairies needing help to fight off disease spreading evil-doers. And if you’ve figured out that much from the book you’ll find that this short novella delivers pretty much exactly what you’d expect. The protagonist is flawed in ways where I wasn’t sure that I liked him in the beginning, but I was curious enough to see how he would grow throughout the story.

It’s definitely one of the less “out there” titles released by Eraserhead so far this year, with the fantasy tropes bringing a lot of familiar elements to the forefront, while its strengths emerged in the world building and vivid descriptions of the kingdom of teeth and all the horrible dental diseases manifesting within. Imagine the worst a dental clinic has to offer and magnify it and multiply it some.

I loved the clarity and confidence in which Garza and Lason told this story. I would have loved to have seen a few more plot twists or to ratchet the weirdness up a bit, but for a pair of horror writers doing weird fantasy horror, they pulled off a really fun and at times disgusting twist on the tooth fairy narrative. Brush your teeth, kids!

Next review: If God is a Poet by Ron Barton

Last Review: Figures From the Undergrowth by Donald Armfield

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