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Within forty-eight hours, Yaya Betancourt will go from discovering teeth between her thighs to being hunted by one of the most powerful corporations in America. She assumes the vagina dentata is a side effect of a rare genetic condition caused by AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical, decades ago, when she and several thousand others were still in the womb. But, when ABP corporate goons Within forty-eight hours, Yaya Betancourt will go from discovering teeth between her thighs to being hunted by one of the most powerful corporations in America. She assumes the vagina dentata is a side effect of a rare genetic condition caused by AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical, decades ago, when she and several thousand others were still in the womb. But, when ABP corporate goons upend her life, she realizes her secondary teeth might be evidence of a new experiment for which she’s the most advanced test tube... a situation worsened when Yaya’s condition sprouts horns, tentacles, and a mind of its own. On the run and transforming, Yaya may be either ABP’s greatest success, or the deadliest failure science has ever created.


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Within forty-eight hours, Yaya Betancourt will go from discovering teeth between her thighs to being hunted by one of the most powerful corporations in America. She assumes the vagina dentata is a side effect of a rare genetic condition caused by AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical, decades ago, when she and several thousand others were still in the womb. But, when ABP corporate goons Within forty-eight hours, Yaya Betancourt will go from discovering teeth between her thighs to being hunted by one of the most powerful corporations in America. She assumes the vagina dentata is a side effect of a rare genetic condition caused by AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical, decades ago, when she and several thousand others were still in the womb. But, when ABP corporate goons upend her life, she realizes her secondary teeth might be evidence of a new experiment for which she’s the most advanced test tube... a situation worsened when Yaya’s condition sprouts horns, tentacles, and a mind of its own. On the run and transforming, Yaya may be either ABP’s greatest success, or the deadliest failure science has ever created.

30 review for Queen of Teeth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sadie Hartmann

    Review originally published at Cemetery Dance: https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... You might be surprised to learn that Queen of Teeth is the debut novel from Hailey Piper. Her name is everywhere! How can this be her debut? Well, up until this book’s release, Piper has had a string of successful book releases in the novella page count range: The Possession of Natalie Glasgow, Benny Rose the Cannibal King, The Worm and His Kings, a short story collection, and a Short, Sharp, Shocks from Demain Review originally published at Cemetery Dance: https://www.cemeterydance.com/extras/... You might be surprised to learn that Queen of Teeth is the debut novel from Hailey Piper. Her name is everywhere! How can this be her debut? Well, up until this book’s release, Piper has had a string of successful book releases in the novella page count range: The Possession of Natalie Glasgow, Benny Rose the Cannibal King, The Worm and His Kings, a short story collection, and a Short, Sharp, Shocks from Demain Publishing called An Invitation to Darkness. There is also a variety of short fiction published in dozens of anthologies and magazines. Through this whirlwind of storytelling, Piper has gathered unto herself a massive fanbase. Personally, I show up for anything with her name on it. I’m a sell-out for Piper’s unique brand. Queen of Teeth is special. Her first novel and what a way to crush a debut! Setting a new standard for body horror, this book begins with the main character, Yolanda “Yaya” Betancourt, making a startling discovery about her body in the bathroom of a woman she barely knows. She makes a quick exit, her mind buzzing with questions. Ultimately, Yaya settles on her body changes being a new side effect of a medical experiment she has been a part of since birth. Later, as Yaya’s condition is developing, a powerful scientific entity known as AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical is hunting her down…and she is falling in love. One of the most important themes of this book is the protection of a woman’s agency; the ability to take control of her own life at all costs. The world tries to override agency all the time, especially when it comes to mental and physical health. Women are groomed from a very early age to be silent about the issues that are troubling us. It’s too awkward or uncomfortable to share sexual health concerns. We fear being labeled negatively by society if we can’t perform or live up to the world’s standards of normalcy. We’re supposed to take a step back and allow others to guide our futures instead of advocating for ourselves and claiming ownership. This book speaks to all of this and more because Piper also infuses the narrative with an LBGTQ+ point of view. Horror fans who are willing to go on an exotic journey into strange and wonderful world-building unlike any other will enjoy this blend of romance and horror. Hailey Piper is at the top of her game, literally machete-chopping through new territory, blazing an exciting trail for others to follow. The future of horror looks so invigoratingly queer and progressive. I love being a part of the celebration.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    Prepare yourselves for extreme cheerleading. Full review published in Rue Morgue #201 (July/August 2021) (excerpts below): In 2008, the movie Teeth unleashed a new vagina dentata story on the horror film community. Thirteen years later, Hailey Piper’s novel, Queen of Teeth, does the same for the book world. Sure to disgust and delight a variety of readers, Piper balances humor, revulsion, science, and even romance to create what is likely one of the best horror books of 2021. This novel could have Prepare yourselves for extreme cheerleading. Full review published in Rue Morgue #201 (July/August 2021) (excerpts below): In 2008, the movie Teeth unleashed a new vagina dentata story on the horror film community. Thirteen years later, Hailey Piper’s novel, Queen of Teeth, does the same for the book world. Sure to disgust and delight a variety of readers, Piper balances humor, revulsion, science, and even romance to create what is likely one of the best horror books of 2021. This novel could have been a quick, brutal body horror story; entertaining, yet lacking dimension. Piper, however, makes Yaya a relatable character and the reader is drawn into her life as they watch her navigate relationships, learn about her new appendages, and take on an evil corporation. There may be teeth and gore, but there is also depth crafted with fantastic imagination. Here readers will find discourse surrounding bodily autonomy, freedom of expression and love, as well as oppression of an uncaring government. Because it is embedded in the fabric of the story, it is never heavy handed or preachy. As Yaya’s body changes, so does the way she is treated by society at large. Queen of Teeth promises teeth and tentacles, yet delivers so much more. The complexity of the world Piper crafts is believable and expertly done. Fans of Piper will adore this book and new readers will be quick to pick up her previous titles after this delightful initiation.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara Tantlinger

    *More thoughts when my brain works, but I loved this book, and it's everything I never knew I needed. You need it, too.* Okay, my brain is ready now. I love all of Hailey’s work, but there is something incredibly special about QUEEN OF TEETH that makes it not only one of my favorite works by Hailey, but one of my favorite works of horror, period. Where do I begin to unpack the many layers of QUEEN OF TEETH? One bite at a time! “Love came naturally to her, but she could be inspired to the art of ha *More thoughts when my brain works, but I loved this book, and it's everything I never knew I needed. You need it, too.* Okay, my brain is ready now. I love all of Hailey’s work, but there is something incredibly special about QUEEN OF TEETH that makes it not only one of my favorite works by Hailey, but one of my favorite works of horror, period. Where do I begin to unpack the many layers of QUEEN OF TEETH? One bite at a time! “Love came naturally to her, but she could be inspired to the art of hatred. She had only needed a muse.” Protagonists Yaya and Doc are both caught in an endless storm created by overlords AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical (ABP), and while it seems their respective positions would place them on opposite ends of the fight the storm creates, it’s those moments where they meet in the middle where we become enchanted with them both -- their flaws are on display for us as readers, and that’s one of the many reasons I loved them so dearly. Human beings are incredibly complex, messy creatures. Piper does not hesitate to show us the turmoil these women go through, and it blends seamlessly into creating strong, vivid characters that you’ll remember for a long time. Reading this book, you can also just tell how much fun Piper has with the descriptions (teeth and tentacles? Yes please!). I think that genuine love for writing, for creating something uniquely hers, is just another trademark Hailey Piper trait that contributes to making her work so damn good and enjoyable to read. There’s also so much to discuss here in terms of controlling our own bodies, how queerness is still “othered” by normative society, and how understanding our own identity is sometimes a lifelong process. We’re constantly changing, learning to adapt in a rabid society, and fighting against those who would rather see less of what makes our world so beautifully diverse. Adaptation doesn’t always hand us the kind of metamorphosis we may initially want, but as Magenta shows us, evolution will continue to create something stronger, smarter, and more beautiful than we can ever imagine. There is something for everyone in this novel, but its resonation with the struggles of queer and marginalized people (the cairn metaphor used throughout is brilliant), and the fight to overcome both depression and suppression, all of those internal and external factors, is really going to make the novel even more special in the place of those particular hearts. I know it did for mine. I could go on, but really, you just need to read it. Don't miss out on this one!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie (That's What She Read)

    4.0 Stars Hailey Piper managed to tie together a romance, vagina tentacles, and a corporate conspiracy all into one story. I loved the story of Yaya, Doc and Magenta. Can I just say the body horror in this is exquisite?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Staley

    No one is writing horror like Hailey Piper! Queen of Teeth is another example of Piper’s unique and layered storytelling. We follow Yaya, someone who was affected by a virus and is closely watched throughout her life by a big pharmaceutical company. One morning she wakes to find a little something different about herself. This discovery turns into a manhunt, turns into a…well how do you even explain the tentacles! Theres a sensuality to the horror that I absolutely love. There is also commentary No one is writing horror like Hailey Piper! Queen of Teeth is another example of Piper’s unique and layered storytelling. We follow Yaya, someone who was affected by a virus and is closely watched throughout her life by a big pharmaceutical company. One morning she wakes to find a little something different about herself. This discovery turns into a manhunt, turns into a…well how do you even explain the tentacles! Theres a sensuality to the horror that I absolutely love. There is also commentary here on body autonomy, but also feelings of not being comfortable in your own body and how that can affect you. And let’s not forget the power that big pharma can have over our lives, (and the, oftentimes, lack of responsibility they take for the destruction of people’s lives.) I thought this was such a wonderfully weird and heartfelt story. I am continuously blown away by Piper’s writing!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jovan

    A Joyfully Jay review. Story: 3⭐️ Since the age of 13, Yolanda “Yaya” Betancourt has known she is not sole owner of her body. Infected by a virus that not only changed her genetic makeup, but gave the virus’ creator co-ownership of her body, she’s been trained to quietly submit to any procedures, scrutiny, and indignity AlphaBeta Pharmaceuticals demands. Now at 31, Yaya has never asked questions about her body or the injections they give her during her monthly check-ins…until she tries to insert A Joyfully Jay review. Story: 3⭐️ Since the age of 13, Yolanda “Yaya” Betancourt has known she is not sole owner of her body. Infected by a virus that not only changed her genetic makeup, but gave the virus’ creator co-ownership of her body, she’s been trained to quietly submit to any procedures, scrutiny, and indignity AlphaBeta Pharmaceuticals demands. Now at 31, Yaya has never asked questions about her body or the injections they give her during her monthly check-ins…until she tries to insert a tampon and is blocked by teeth. When Yaya accidentally misses her monthly appointment and APB agents show up at her apartment “to inspect the continual viability of [their] registered intellectual property,” the discovery of teeth becomes the least of their concerns. With each hour bringing new changes to Yaya’s body (including another consciousness that commands Yaya’s ever-growing vaginal appendages), Yaya expects to lose any control of her body to either the APB or her vagina monster, Magenta. She doesn’t expect to find aid and compassion from the one-night stand she ghosted, Docia “Doc” Hall; she also doesn’t expect Magenta to give her the first taste of true freedom she has ever known. Unfortunately, to the ABP, Yaya is nothing more than a walking test-tube that has proven itself unique among the thousands of other IP they own. Destroying her to collect their samples is not a problem; they’ve done it before and only need a few pieces, after all. Used to surrender, new to fighting back, and up against a corporate monster, Yaya is uncertain she’s strong enough to survive…Magenta is certain she’s too stubborn to die. I was introduced to the concept of vagina teeth (vagina dentata) when I read several books about creation myths and folklore; in high school, I was delighted to discover the biological reality behind epidermal tissues winding up in vajay-jays. I gleefully watched the movie “Teeth” (marveling at the convoluted discourse proclaiming the movie a gimmick that used men’s fear of castration to…watch dudes be castrated??), and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch “Moana” in the hopes of spotting some obsidian teeth-shaped easter eggs. So when I ran across a gloriously pink and purple hued cover with eye-catching imagery called "Queen of Teeth", of course I had to check out the blurb. "Queen" takes place in an alternate 2020 where, 32 years ago, APB released the INZ9-00 virus, which seems to only infect/affect females and those with higher levels of female “sex” hormones and causes various issues—one of which being a kind of “super-fertility” that increases the frequency of multi-zygote pregnancies. However, instead of birthing multiple babies, one zygote absorbs the other(s), creating one offspring with multiple genetic lines known as a chimera. Despite being the cause of such a catastrophic viral outbreak, APB faced no consequences and successfully argued that since the genetic differences caused by their virus created these genetically unique females, APB should own half their genetic material. Ostensibly, APB monitors the chimeras because, after puberty, they become vulnerable to a condition in which their disparate genetic materials basically go to war, leading to various growths or worse — “bodies splitting at the seams or stuffed with tumors.” In reality, APB treats these people as bodies they can do whatever they want with—and boy do they. Additionally, in this timeline Nancy Reagan won the 1988 US presidential election and the government and corporations embraced Russia’s militarization-heavy form of civil service, indoctrinating citizens so they view corporate/police tanks, weapons, and their masked, anonymous agents as normal. Dual sovereignty seems to be held between individual states and corporations, rather than with the federal government. This area of the world building and the timeline is a bit shaky, as it mentions a few states’ inability to secede from the “union,” but later discusses them as if they are separate nations (some even having theocracies). Additionally, an oft-mentioned tragedy known as the Kentucky Incident is said to have occurred nine years before the events of the story in 1999, but this places the timeline in 2008 instead of 2020. As an addition to the pantheon of vagina dentata-inspired tales found around the globe (some having reached urban legend status as recently as the Viet Nam War), "Queen of Teeth" has plenty to offer. As sci-fi/horror, it works pretty well overall. However, the horror is the best element, being very visceral body horror in the way of a Cronenberg film, particularly “Possessor,” as Yaya not only has to deal with dental, tentacular, and horned structures growing from/changing her body, but sharing her body with another consciousness. The genetic science of Hailey Piper’s premise isn’t so far advanced that it requires a dissertation’s worth of scientific backstory, nor so egregiously superficial and/or far-fetched it’ll make science-minded folk immediately bin it and write dissertation length letters to the author. It’s accurate enough (despite some loose terminology use) and straightforward enough to allow a reader to buy in relatively easily and stay with it. Where the story doesn’t work well for me is how it incorporates its social commentary and Yaya as the nominal MC. Thematically, "Queen" is screaming FREEDOM so loudly even William Wallace à la “Braveheart” would ask it to take it down a notch. Personally, I like my commentary a bit subtler. While I may be attracted to bold, shouty colors in a cover, I don’t want to be shouted at, bludgeoned over the head, and steamrolled by a story’s message. Even when I tried to view "Queen" as more exaggerated/satirical (especially when the tank-penis, aka The Predator, popped up), there is just too much earnest truth to do so. Almost every imaginable abuse against female bodily autonomy is accounted for. Women dehumanized and treated as disposable property; uninformed, smugly self-satisfied white men making decisions for the well-being of such child-like entities; the entitlement and discourtesy of unwanted touch. Piper even gives you the man’s man who has no problem with violence and gore, but is squeamish about vaginas and can’t manage to say “menstruate” because, gross. To be fair, horror is the perfect vehicle for this kind of no-holds barred style; I can appreciate what Piper is doing and imagine lots of readers loving it. Part of the reason, this louder style of commentary doesn’t work for me in "Queen" is that it compounded and/or helped create my disconnect from Yaya as an MC. This is her story, her evolution, but her love interest, Doc, has the more compelling story arc. To me, Yaya is more or less a vehicle for the message (just like she is a vehicle for Magenta) and doesn’t get much character development. She begins the story as someone who has given up on life; APB owns her so there’s no point building something meaningful when they can collect her for dissection on a whim. To avoid attachment, she only has one-night stands and, until Magenta shows up, feels like the only power she can exercise is wrecking herself, mainly via heavy drinking, a junk food diet, and partying. When she recognizes her choices are from apathy and depression, it’s because of Magenta literally changing her body, acting almost like an anti-depressant. Unfortunately, clearer Yaya doesn’t get much page time, just like her personality traits don’t. She and the text lets you know she’s a smart-ass, but her few line deliveries don’t really sell it. She never comes into her own; she’s swept away by Magenta and the story. Yaya is a torch-bearer for all females, which by necessity reduces her to archetype rather than actualized character. Doc, on the other hand is fairly complex and has an arc rather than acting as one. After their one-night stand, she feels a genuine connection for Yaya. When they meet again, it’s under stressful circumstances that see them at odds, and Doc remains at odds with herself throughout the story. She is a firm believer in responsibility and doing her job; she chose her profession because she thought she could make a difference. In contrast, part of her steely dedication to professional responsibility is rooted in her more morally dubious desire to be free of choice. She can’t be at fault if she has “no choice” because a responsible professional follows orders. She’s hard and pragmatic, but is the one to show Magenta compassion and acceptance when Yaya could only think of Magenta as an interloping vagina monster. Doc believes in second chances and wants to find redemption from something she sees as her biggest failure, but can turn her back on the same redemption she says she’s been looking for. Doc is the emotional core of the story and for me makes Yaya’s character feel even flatter. Even with the extra material in the text for Doc, I had to dig deep to connect with the character. Piper’s writing is similar in style to other works where I had trouble engaging with the characters. To be clear, it isn’t a style I dislike—it’s sparse, crisp, gets the point across, and can still be poetic; however, sometimes the narrative needs a bit more connective tissue to add depth or movement to a character and/or event. Without it, there’s too much “empty space,” a broad sketch but not enough for individuation. This too is a personal problem and a YMMV situation, and "Queen of Teeth" is enjoyable and has an interesting take on freedom, forgiveness, autonomy, and connection. I cautiously recommend it for those who don’t mind body horror and/or social commentary blaring at you in all its vulval, magenta glory.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Well Read Beard

    This is my 6th read by Hailey Piper. I enjoyed the book. I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book a bit more than the second half. Let's cut to the chase, this book is about a vagina monster... Ok, it's about a lot more than that, but the vagina monster is a huge piece. ( Seriously, no pun intended ) - That's either gonna convince you to buy the book or it's not. Nothing else I say really matters. For me it felt like a really great body horror novel that escalated to a large cosmic sort o This is my 6th read by Hailey Piper. I enjoyed the book. I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book a bit more than the second half. Let's cut to the chase, this book is about a vagina monster... Ok, it's about a lot more than that, but the vagina monster is a huge piece. ( Seriously, no pun intended ) - That's either gonna convince you to buy the book or it's not. Nothing else I say really matters. For me it felt like a really great body horror novel that escalated to a large cosmic sort of thing. I liked Yaya( our main). As her vagina dentata grew into this massive monster, it became more about Magenta( the monster ) than Yaya, and I really liked Yaya. I feel that some of Piper's beautiful prose ( and it is beautiful ) was lost in the medical, scientific, military jargon. All that said, I liked it. I liked the chimera story line. I appreciated the continuing references to my home state. The Kentucky Incident for the win, I mean not really, the Kentucky Incident was a really bad thing, but Kentucky with no mention of rednecks or opioids, Yeah! While it took me a bit to get over... Look I can't tell you what I had to get over, I still appreciated the ending. For all my thoughts and to see me talk on camera about a vagina monster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YeeP...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Working Man Reads

    Weird fiction at its finest. I had a lot of fun with this one. I'm a fan of Science Fiction so the blend of my two favorite genres is always a good thing. This Horror Story has some genetic modifications and a lot of vagina tentacles. Might be a good spooky season read for the science fiction fan looking for a horror Story. Weird fiction at its finest. I had a lot of fun with this one. I'm a fan of Science Fiction so the blend of my two favorite genres is always a good thing. This Horror Story has some genetic modifications and a lot of vagina tentacles. Might be a good spooky season read for the science fiction fan looking for a horror Story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becky Spratford

    STAR review in the October 2021 issue of Library Journal: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?revie... My favorite debut novel of the year hands down! Three Words That Describe This Book: body horror, thought provoking, immersive Opening provocatively, with Yaya finding teeth in her vagina, Piper takes what could be a gimmick and crafts a brilliant, alternative history, dystopia. Yaya is one of many in her generation born a mutant chimera because of a virus, property of AlphaBeta Pharmaceuticals [ABP], STAR review in the October 2021 issue of Library Journal: https://www.libraryjournal.com/?revie... My favorite debut novel of the year hands down! Three Words That Describe This Book: body horror, thought provoking, immersive Opening provocatively, with Yaya finding teeth in her vagina, Piper takes what could be a gimmick and crafts a brilliant, alternative history, dystopia. Yaya is one of many in her generation born a mutant chimera because of a virus, property of AlphaBeta Pharmaceuticals [ABP], requiring her to submit to monthly “check ups” from the company. Doc is one of their scientists who has been privy to the worst of ABP experiments. As Yaya and Doc fall in love, Piper effortlessly builds a fascinating world, only slightly askew from our own, while heightning the horror as the teeth inside of Yaya begin to grow into an independent, sentient being both inside Yaya and separate from her, a monster that, while well meaning within its world view, has Godzilla-esque aspiration. Visceral, scary, and sensual, tackling issues of gender identity and marginalization head on, this fast paced, Body Horror, creature feature also follows Romance genre rules, resulting in a thought provoking tale that is both utterly terrifying and adorably sweet, even if the end of the world may be imminent. Verdict: A fun page turner on its surface, but the second readers pause, the real-world issues at play will tightly wrap their tentacles around all. Readers who like old school science fiction dystopias a la Dick, mixed with a healthy dose of cosmic awe like in Kiernan’s Tinfoil Dossier series, with a few dashes of Kaiju mayhem will be in Horror heaven with this mesmerizing, original and breathtaking debut.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    I'm a sucker for romance. I especially love it mixed with horror, and not mainstream, because real relationships are complicated, right? And it doesn't get more complicated than the love triangle in QUEEN OF TEETH. Piper lends her distinctive, empathetic voice to compelling characters with depth. The horror of having your body belong to someone else, of only manifesting protection through horrific changes. There's some incredible lines in here, "No one listens to an empty peanut butter jar" was I'm a sucker for romance. I especially love it mixed with horror, and not mainstream, because real relationships are complicated, right? And it doesn't get more complicated than the love triangle in QUEEN OF TEETH. Piper lends her distinctive, empathetic voice to compelling characters with depth. The horror of having your body belong to someone else, of only manifesting protection through horrific changes. There's some incredible lines in here, "No one listens to an empty peanut butter jar" was my favorite, but there are others that deeply affected me on an emotional level. Piper writes about depression, and the heavy way it confines us. Identify, and powerlessness, and community, and love, and taking that power back. Plenty of horror, plenty of darkness, and enough teeth to last you. Another flat out win.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    **Review coming soon**

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Betts-Green

    Queer. Body horror. Evil big pharma. I fucking loved this book. I need the entirety of Piper's catalog in my hands, like, yesterday. rep: lesbian, minor enby character, trans themes Queer. Body horror. Evil big pharma. I fucking loved this book. I need the entirety of Piper's catalog in my hands, like, yesterday. rep: lesbian, minor enby character, trans themes

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    Hailey Piper will be a new author for me, which is always, ALWAYS exciting, for which I must thank Edward Lorn, via his excellent YouTube channel. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/KlviaLMEASY Hailey Piper will be a new author for me, which is always, ALWAYS exciting, for which I must thank Edward Lorn, via his excellent YouTube channel. Here's the link: https://youtu.be/KlviaLMEASY

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Lewis

    I really feel that I’m the wrong audience to appreciate what the author is trying to do in this particular novel. I did not enjoy any part of it which is a shame really because I was looking forward to reading this author’s work

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kevin L

    Review forthcoming. I will say that I love this book so hard and will be rereading it while eating peanut butter.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Sullivan

    I'm amazed at how Hailey Piper can go from describing a gross tentacle to gracefully dancing through abstract, surreal passages, contextualizing more human fears like depression in an interesting way. This book has more to say than you might think for a "tentacle monster" story. It's also just really entertaining, funny, and full of creative language. The split POV is a great choice. Without spoiling much, one POV helped keep the story grounded while the main POV is free to go off the rails in un I'm amazed at how Hailey Piper can go from describing a gross tentacle to gracefully dancing through abstract, surreal passages, contextualizing more human fears like depression in an interesting way. This book has more to say than you might think for a "tentacle monster" story. It's also just really entertaining, funny, and full of creative language. The split POV is a great choice. Without spoiling much, one POV helped keep the story grounded while the main POV is free to go off the rails in unexpected ways. I appreciated a cast of queer characters who weren't defined by the homophobia/transphobia of others It's kind of like Firestarter meets The Metamorphosis I guess ? The setup (evil corporation hunting its own experiment) reminds me of the former, a little. But it feels most like the other Hailey Piper books I've read - Worm and His Kings and Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy. Her stories are consistently great.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marlee

    3.5 rounding up. I didn't love the writing (I was kind of confused by some things, and I wanted way more back story than this novella could deliver), but major points for taking this book PLACES. There is weird, fucked-up body horror unlike I've read in a hot minute, and I appreciate that. The ending feels like a bizarre superhero movie. I have my complaints, but I was entertained and I definitely want to check out the author's other work. 3.5 rounding up. I didn't love the writing (I was kind of confused by some things, and I wanted way more back story than this novella could deliver), but major points for taking this book PLACES. There is weird, fucked-up body horror unlike I've read in a hot minute, and I appreciate that. The ending feels like a bizarre superhero movie. I have my complaints, but I was entertained and I definitely want to check out the author's other work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Morgenstern

    Hailey Piper manages to pull off the perfect blend of body horror, romance, coming-of-age (of a sort), and weird science. Not for the queasy, but still a fun, heart-breaking, breath-taking read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    T.C. Parker

    Review to come, but suffice to say, this book is magical

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Another gem of the grotesque for Hailey Piper. I was left reeling, wondering if my anatomy was going to betray me! Set in a pseudo futuristic world where some people were born with a mutant gene, the main character literally finds her body’s most delicate parts turning into something other. Does that make her a monster? If so, I found the monster endearing and loved that character. Both the beginning and the end were bittersweet. For some reason it reminded me of King Kong and how I cried like a b Another gem of the grotesque for Hailey Piper. I was left reeling, wondering if my anatomy was going to betray me! Set in a pseudo futuristic world where some people were born with a mutant gene, the main character literally finds her body’s most delicate parts turning into something other. Does that make her a monster? If so, I found the monster endearing and loved that character. Both the beginning and the end were bittersweet. For some reason it reminded me of King Kong and how I cried like a baby when they were trying to shoot him down off that sky scraper. I guess I’m a fan of monsters! Lovely tale of body horror with just the right amount of gross!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Hailey Piper’s horror/science fiction novel Queen of Teeth takes several concepts and images that I have always found irredeemably cheesy and silly, and turns them into something exciting, heartbreaking, inspiring, and profound. Yaya is a chimera–when she was in the womb, she “absorbed” her twin, leaving her with two sets of DNA in different parts of her body. In this case it was caused by the escape of the manufactured INZ9-00 virus. The AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical company now owns half the intelle Hailey Piper’s horror/science fiction novel Queen of Teeth takes several concepts and images that I have always found irredeemably cheesy and silly, and turns them into something exciting, heartbreaking, inspiring, and profound. Yaya is a chimera–when she was in the womb, she “absorbed” her twin, leaving her with two sets of DNA in different parts of her body. In this case it was caused by the escape of the manufactured INZ9-00 virus. The AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical company now owns half the intellectual property rights to the chimeras, and they’re required to come in for regular checkups. During those checkups, sometimes they’re injected with things they don’t really know much about. After Yaya’s one-night stand with Doc, a woman she met at a club, she discovers she has teeth growing in her vagina (“vagina dentata”). When tentacles join the teeth, she realizes this is more than just the usual chimeric oddity. But when she fails to show up for her latest mandated ABP checkup, she ends up having to go on the run. Yaya’s story takes place in an alternate timeline where Nancy Reagan became president in ’88, the police have been militarized, and a number of other changes have made the present a bit on the bleak side. The chimeras are forced to turn to ABP for their medical care, but ABP doesn’t care about their health except as it affects their own experiments and data collection. They could easily be the epitome of the faceless corporation, except that Piper puts faces to it, a move that makes it all the more insidious. It’s all the scarier to see otherwise normal people following the dictates of a three-person Board. The body horror is amazing. I’ve always found vagina dentata to be too silly to find horrifying as a concept, but Piper makes them… disturbing, and oddly transformative. There are other images and types of body horror in here that I’ve also found ridiculous before, but again Piper turns them into something worth reading about. Yaya’s changes are fascinating, and both tragic and beautiful. There are no easy answers here, just fear, tragedy, and love. The pacing is great, starting from a drunken one-night stand and building up to a city-wide threat. There’s a great deal of body horror, blood, bone, and terror. One detail I love is that there are no 100 percent good guys among the “normal” people in this book. There are no real good guys at all, come to think of it. There’s a great theme of bodily autonomy running through here, and where violations of that autonomy can lead. I love this book as much as everything else I’ve read by Hailey Piper, and this just fortifies my desire to read everything she writes. Content note: sex (f/f/vagina monster), body horror, menstruation, gynecological exam, bodily autonomy violations, death and gore. Original review posted on my blog: https://www.errantdreams.com/2021/09/...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars Queen takes place in an alternate 2020 where, 32 years ago, APB released the INZ9-00 virus, which seems to only infect/affect females and those with higher levels of female “sex” hormones and causes various issues—one of which being a kind of “super-fertility” that increases the frequency of multi-zygote pregnancies. However, instead of birthing multiple babies, one zygote absorbs the other(s), creating one offspring with multiple genetic lines known as a chimera A Joyfully Jay review. 3.75 stars Queen takes place in an alternate 2020 where, 32 years ago, APB released the INZ9-00 virus, which seems to only infect/affect females and those with higher levels of female “sex” hormones and causes various issues—one of which being a kind of “super-fertility” that increases the frequency of multi-zygote pregnancies. However, instead of birthing multiple babies, one zygote absorbs the other(s), creating one offspring with multiple genetic lines known as a chimera. Despite being the cause of such a catastrophic viral outbreak, APB faced no consequences and successfully argued that since the genetic differences caused by their virus created these genetically unique females, APB should own half their genetic material. Read Jovan’s review in its entirety here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This book is gorgeously grotesque. Hailey Piper created a beautiful blend of science fiction, visceral body horror and romance into a mile-a-minute novel. I love body horror and this book hits all the right notes and more! There are moments here that remind me of effects from movies like The Thing and Tokyo Gore Police and animation from Akira. But none of this would mesh without realistic characters to drive the plot and this author excels at writing believable bad-ass people. Yaya and her confid This book is gorgeously grotesque. Hailey Piper created a beautiful blend of science fiction, visceral body horror and romance into a mile-a-minute novel. I love body horror and this book hits all the right notes and more! There are moments here that remind me of effects from movies like The Thing and Tokyo Gore Police and animation from Akira. But none of this would mesh without realistic characters to drive the plot and this author excels at writing believable bad-ass people. Yaya and her confidants come to life similar to Monique and Desiree from Hailey's awesome earlier novellas. Just go read this book, you'll love it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rain

    Hailey Piper's prose here is opulent, obscene, and nourishing, like neon pink natto. Queen of Teeth is a stunning, shocking, weird body-horror romance about ingestion, surrender, identity, and recognition. When we collide with others, intimately, traumatically, indifferently, who absorbs what? Are the small persons absorbed by the gravity of the larger, or do we all form one mutually consuming self? When we do harm, do we make monsters of the harmed, or do we make monsters of ourselves? And what Hailey Piper's prose here is opulent, obscene, and nourishing, like neon pink natto. Queen of Teeth is a stunning, shocking, weird body-horror romance about ingestion, surrender, identity, and recognition. When we collide with others, intimately, traumatically, indifferently, who absorbs what? Are the small persons absorbed by the gravity of the larger, or do we all form one mutually consuming self? When we do harm, do we make monsters of the harmed, or do we make monsters of ourselves? And what is the self if not adaptation, metabolism, and yes, transition? Absolutely outstanding horror/romance book that I know I haven't even fully digested (heh) yet.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Claire Holland

    I’ve been struggling to write this post for a while now, because it’s difficult to adequately convey the unique brilliance of Hailey Piper’s debut novel – a sci-fi/horror/queer romance amalgam that’s refreshing and marvelously unapologetic, to say the least. Queen of Teeth is not only a wildly creative page-turner, it’s also chock full of keen and timely observations about the world we—particularly women and anyone “other”—live in, especially about our struggles to control our own bodies and to I’ve been struggling to write this post for a while now, because it’s difficult to adequately convey the unique brilliance of Hailey Piper’s debut novel – a sci-fi/horror/queer romance amalgam that’s refreshing and marvelously unapologetic, to say the least. Queen of Teeth is not only a wildly creative page-turner, it’s also chock full of keen and timely observations about the world we—particularly women and anyone “other”—live in, especially about our struggles to control our own bodies and to live authentic lives. The romance is both deliciously erotic and integral to the story, and the ending left me breathless. Trust me - you need to read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wyrd Witch

    3.5 stars. Hailey Piper has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her intensely queer horror stories make me feel seen, heard, and euphoric. Her writing is gorgeous, and her monster concepts are exceptionally creative and subversive paired with her queer themes. I’ve already reviewed her short story collection on the blog, and I got unbelievably excited when I heard she was writing a body horror novel to be published on my birthday. Out of the three books I’ve reviewed, Queen of Teeth gave me 3.5 stars. Hailey Piper has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her intensely queer horror stories make me feel seen, heard, and euphoric. Her writing is gorgeous, and her monster concepts are exceptionally creative and subversive paired with her queer themes. I’ve already reviewed her short story collection on the blog, and I got unbelievably excited when I heard she was writing a body horror novel to be published on my birthday. Out of the three books I’ve reviewed, Queen of Teeth gave me the most mixed feelings, but it’s definitely still a good Piper book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    Buddy read with Emily! My newest fear? Vagina tentacles. As usual, Hailey’s writing is magnificent & the body horror really made me uncomfortable so A+ for that. Also, any scene with blood shed had me wrapped around its tentacle. There were some parts of this story that I zoned out while reading because I just couldn’t get into it, which meant I had to keep backtracking & trying again. Buddy read with Emily! My newest fear? Vagina tentacles. As usual, Hailey’s writing is magnificent & the body horror really made me uncomfortable so A+ for that. Also, any scene with blood shed had me wrapped around its tentacle. There were some parts of this story that I zoned out while reading because I just couldn’t get into it, which meant I had to keep backtracking & trying again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna Kay

    I'm not going to rate this since I'm not finishing it. I tried my hardest not to DNF this book because I really enjoyed "The Worm and His Kings" and "Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy." But this particular story just wasn't for me, with how graphic the body horror elements were and the overall descriptive nature of it. I was curious about the resolution of the plot but I'll just look at the spoilers in the group chat since this was a buddy read. I'm not going to rate this since I'm not finishing it. I tried my hardest not to DNF this book because I really enjoyed "The Worm and His Kings" and "Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy." But this particular story just wasn't for me, with how graphic the body horror elements were and the overall descriptive nature of it. I was curious about the resolution of the plot but I'll just look at the spoilers in the group chat since this was a buddy read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Aerts

    I think it’s particularly hard for me to enjoy books where there’s scientific discussions about reproduction and puberty because I’m constantly like oooo no that’s not accurate oh no. I did enjoy the plot and as always with piper it went in a wild direction with such an ambiguous ending. I would definitely recommend it, but I think for me, I enjoyed it less because the science was like… really out there

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danni

    This book does what I love horror to do: work a metaphor to discuss deeper themes. This book has made me think which is not something many books can lay claim to. Although I had several issues with the book, what it said about the relationship between monstrosity and marginalization and the nation state makes up for them.

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