Book Review: Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth Book 1) by Chele Cooke

 
 
Thomas is horrified when he wakes in a blood-drenched room and finds out he's turning into a vampire, but he soon starts coming to terms with it with the help of Spencer, his assigned mentor. But when a feeding goes wrong, not only does it have consequences on Thomas's life, it creates a rift between Spencer and August and even more problems for the vampire community.
 

 
Book Review: Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth Book 1) by Chele Cooke | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy, lgbt, m/m, vampires
Title: Teeth: The First Bite
Author:
Series:
Book Number: Book 1 of TBA
Pages: 209
My Book Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon
 

Review:

*I received a free ecopy of this book via Story Cartel. This has not influenced my review.*

First of all, the blurb as of the date I’m writing this really doesn’t do a good job of describing this book. There was like one sentence about Thomas being in med school, and there was nothing about him becoming prey. Actually, this book wasn’t even really about Thomas period. It was about the inner struggles of three vampires with the most focus on Spencer and his feelings for August and a side focus on Thomas coming to terms with turning and August grieving the loss of someone he cared about.

Second, I’m a sucker for vampire books (I swear I didn’t mean to make that pun, but it’s so perfect that I’m sticking with it), and this one had me hooked from page one.

Thomas opened his eyes.

Then he began screaming.

From there the book continued to draw me in because these vampires were the perfect blend of predatory and sexy, and they also broke a lot of the more frustrating cliches.

For one thing, I love reading books about newborn and baby vamps, which Thomas was, but never before had I read about a vampire actually learning how to feed. It’s probably twisted to laugh at a scene in which an innocent person dies, but it was just way too funny seeing Thomas miss the artery a bunch of times and then maul the guy’s neck. I loved it.

I also loved the way the vampires took Thomas in and taught him. It seems like in so many books, the vampires have tragic backstories about their makers, or they were left alone and confused, or the vampire who takes them in is just a jerk.

Another great thing was that the vampires actually had jobs working from home, designing websites, running tech support, etc. rather than being inexplicably loaded.

One of the best things about the book though was the potential depth and emotion. It seemed like we really only scratched the surface, but the depth and emotion was definitely there underneath which makes me think that even though this book didn’t make me too emotional, future books might.

The other best thing was the complexity of the relationships, both romantic and familial-esque. The characters also seemed to all be complex, and I’m interested to see how these relationships will continue to grow or change.

My only real issues were the “love” between Thomas and Paige, since it seemed like they hardly knew each other, and the lack of goal in the plot. But honestly I was more invested in August and Spencer than Thomas anyway, and the lack of goal didn’t make the book any less gripping for me.

But here’s the thing. I was originally all set to give this book a solid 4 stars for all of the above reasons and was so excited to have found a new series that seemed like one I could really get into. Then I got to the end and found out the next book is going to be about different characters. That would be ok if I had gotten a full, satisfying story, but it ended in the middle of relationship struggles and other interesting unexplored things and therefore seemed incomplete. I felt like I was just starting to get to know Thomas’s, August’s, and Spencer’s stories only to suddenly be told no, I can’t have anymore.

I contacted the author and found out they will be secondary characters in Book 2 and August and Spencer will be back as POV characters in Book 3, so there’s hope for the series at least, but I’m still disappointed I might miss all the emotions and relationship stuff that will take place between them in Book 2.

Overall, this book was a lovely mix of emotion, humor, and vampires, but until I see how the rest of the series goes, I’m not sure how I feel and might have to adjust my rating and review accordingly once the series is complete.

 
 
Book Blurb

“We cannot be merely carnivores. We must be cannibals.”

Medical student Thomas wakes up in a blood-drenched basement room, with no memory of how or why he got there.

Spencer has the answers, and now he must train Thomas to follow the rules of being a vampire – under the watchful gaze of his own mentor.

But how will Thomas practice medicine when the smell of blood turns him into a vicious killer?

Can Spencer teach Thomas to master his new powers, before he’s turned from predator into prey?

Basic Info

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Have you read Teeth: The First Bite by Chele Cooke?
Do you like your vampires sexy, predatory, or both?

 
 
 
 
 

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21 thoughts on “Book Review: Teeth: The First Bite (Teeth Book 1) by Chele Cooke

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    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha I’m glad someone likes my twistedness. I do love vampire books, and this was definitely one of the good ones! I just have to keep my fingers crossed that the series will end well and give me the closure and emotion that I so want from these characters!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I wasn’t exaggerating! Though you did just give me an idea to do a vampire book recommendation post, so thanks! Maybe you’ll find something that interests you once I eventually get that post up. And thanks for tagging me! I’ll check it out in a bit :-)

  1. Lola

    I like vampire books, but don’t read them as often lately. I do got a vampire book for review recently, I should read that one soon. That’s neat this one broke so many clichés, I like it when an author can make the book feel very much like a genre X book, in this case vampires, while also having it feel original at the same time. And indeed vampires often have these tragic backstories and it sounds nice that here the new vampire got actually taught things. And yay for them actually having a job, it always seems so weird when supernaturals don’t have to work or they somehow got money from living long etc.

    And huh that’s weird the next book is about different characters and then the third will be about these again, it seems like you will miss a piece fo their story then. Or maybe nothing much will happen with these characters in book 2 and that’s why it focuses on other characters? It does seem unusual. I do hope the next books in this series are just as good and you get even more depth and emotions like you hope for!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ooh what vampire book you have for review?

      Yeah, I agree, I think I do really like it when an author can change some of the tropes but still keep the heart of the genre. Or maybe it just depends on the tropes since there are some I like and some I dislike, but in this book she changed all the right ones. I also always wonder how these supernaturals have so much money when they don’t seem to work.

      Exactly, I feel like I’m going to be missing out on all the stuff that happens over the time period in Book 2. Yeah, they’ll be side characters, but that’s not the same. Unless the author backtracks for Book 3, like the same events in Books 2 and 3 but different perspectives, but she didn’t say, so I have no idea. But thanks, I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get the depth and emotion I want!

      1. Lola

        I was talking about The Immortality Cure, I already got it two weeks ago, but that’s still recent in my opinion, lol. Haven’t read a good vampire book in a while so I am looking forward to reading it.

        I once read a series where the werewolf pack worked into construction and I thought it was quite fun to see they actually had to work. It just adds something realistic.

        And that could be possible that she backtracks in book 3, who knows? I can’t think of many series that switch perspective and then switch back to the first couple/ characters again and the only ones I can think of that did that did move ahead in time and no backtrack.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Ah yes, I remember that book now.

          I haven’t read many werewolf books as you know they’re not my favorite, but do they also fall prey to that whole rich-without-explanation thing? I thought they always seemed kind of more grounded and normal lol, at least in the few books I’ve read, but maybe it was just those books.

          I’m just thinking of this one other series I’m reading. Books 1 and 2 were about the same characters, but Book 3 is gonna be basically the events of the first two but from the POV of two side characters. So Book 3 is backtracking. So that’s why I figure it’s a possibility that this author might do something like that, but it is kind of a strange thing, so I don’t know.

          1. Lola

            Usually werewolves don’t live as long and less often fall into the rich without explanation thing, but some do or they sort of give an explanation, but not fully. It’s still nice when they have a job and there is a reason for why they are rich or not. They do seem a bit more grounded than vampires usually as werewolves aren’t immortal, although I have read books were they lived longer.

            I didn’t realize authors did that backtracking in series. i can’t think of any series right now where they author did that.

            Lola recently posted: Sunday Post #188

            1. Kristen Burns

              Yeah, that’s what it seems, that the immortal creatures are the ones that end up so not-grounded and are always just rich without jobs and all that.

              I don’t think backtracking is a normal thing, it’s just that one series I know it doing it, and it’s a self-published series. Honestly the only reason I’m ok with the random switch in that one is because one of those side characters happens to be my favorite lol.

  2. Greg

    Teeth- what a title! And I love this part- “when a feeding goes wrong.” And “miss the artery a bunch of times” lol- hey you gotta start somewhere right. Like when a nurse can’t find the vein. Hate it when that happens! I’m not a fan either when you’re just getting used to characters and they they take a side role or get relegated to lesser status- hopefully they still get attention. This does sound delightfully twisted tho…

    That’s an awesome beginning- wakes up and screams. Probably what most of us would do if we vamps?

    I like my vamps mostly predatory as you know and terrifying, but yeah there’s a place for sexy or seductive too. I like to think of vampires as these horrifying creatures that can take a seductive form to fool their prey, but in their true form they’d be terrifying.

    Greg recently posted: Bookcover Spotlight #58

    1. Kristen Burns

      I seriously loved that scene when he missed the artery a bunch of times lol, but at least the poor guy was unconscious. But yeah, I’m keeping my fingers crossed I’ll still get what I want from the characters in the rest of the books.

      Well he actually doesn’t know yet when he wakes. He starts screaming because there’s blood everywhere and a body hanging from the ceiling. So yeah, I think screaming is 99% likely what I would do in that scenario lol.

      I just like that sexy/predatory combo. Like, they’re sexy, but they’re still dangerous and can kill.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I feel like pretty much every book, even the darkest ones, can benefit from a bit of humor! And I loved that scene, haha. If this was already on your TBR, then I think you’ll like it :-)

  3. Chele Cooke

    Hey Kristen,
    Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Teeth, I know we’ve spoken through Facebook, but I just wanted to reassure you that while they’re not POV characters for Meat, you will not be missing anything with our favourite vampires. In fact, the first of them turns up about 6 chapters into the book, and only a day after the ending of Teeth. They will still be very important characters to the story. Of course, that’s not quite the same as seeing into their heads, but I will make it up to you.
    I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed reading the comments and your replies on this review almost as much as the post itself, so thank you to everyone who has replied. I am a huge fan of subverting the tropes of a genre when it works, and the rich-without-explanation trope always bugged me. When most vampires in popular fiction lived and died, rich was having your own cow, let alone being able to live for 500 years. GET A JOB, GUYS!
    And, because I have enjoyed this so much, I’ll give you a little tidbit from Meat.
    Hope you enjoy it.
    Chele

    A low growl rumbled all the way from Carson’s stomach. Priya immediately flattened herself against the bloody soil, turning her gaze on him. Zeke froze, a piece of denim hanging from his jaws. Carson’s ears pricked, his nostrils flared.
    They weren’t the only ones here.
    He turned in a circle, drawing in scents from all around them. The blood was overwhelming but there was something else, something… off. There was a slight rotten smell in the air, meat left out too long, but it wasn’t dead. It was clean and alive, just off. He knew that smell.
    Turning in another circle, he pressed his paws deep into the earth, clawed up the feeling from the soil. Vibrations rippled his fur and he barked Priya and Zeke off the body. They sniffed at the air, their ears pricking once they caught the scent.
    He saw the eyes first, hidden in amongst the trees. Even in the dark those eyes were bright. Green and brown flecked together. When he grinned, his teeth were white and shone in the dark. His fangs were as sharp as Carson’s.
    Carson barked twice at Priya and Zeke. They had to protect the kill. He bounced into his stride and that smile was gone in an instant. The man turned and set off, far faster than the track star. He zipped in amongst the trees at an alarming speed and there was nothing but for Carson to run after him.
    Chase. Catch.
    Kill.

    1. Kristen Burns

      No problem! I am looking forward to continuing the series. No, it’s not the same seeing them from the outside as being in their heads, but don’t worry, I am still giving it a chance!

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed all the comments :-) I read A LOT of vampire books, so it’s refreshing to find ones that twist the tropes but still keep the essence of the vampires. And yes, seriously, where *do* they always get their money??? Even if I were alive for a thousand years, I’m pretty sure I still wouldn’t be rich lol. Apparently every vampire is an investments expert.

      Thanks for the excerpt!

  4. AngelErin

    Fantastic review!! You really summed it up perfectly. I felt the same about the end of the book and the upcoming books. I asked the author about it as well and I do feel like there is still hope for the series. I was ready to be done with it, but I changed my mind. I really want to see where this is going. Plus I think the second book will be called Meat! That sounds promising lol!! Hopefully we will both love the next ones. 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! And how funny that we both contacted her about that lol. I told you my review would be similar to yours, haha. Crossing my fingers that we’ll both love the rest of the series!