Title: Tooth and Nail
Author: Jennifer Safrey
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Pub Date: February 07, 2012
Category: Urban Fantasy
I never thought I’d be reading a story about a tooth fairy, but in ‘Tooth and Nail’, Jennifer Safrey takes the premise that such fairies are real, gives them a credible reason for teeth stealing, and weaves it into an awesome and surprising urban fantasy.
Gemma Fae Cross, a tough-girl amateur boxer whose fiancé is running for congress, has just made a startling discovery about herself. She is half faerie – and not just any faerie, but a tooth faerie!
A hybrid of fae and human, Gemma is destined to defend the Olde Way and protect the fae – who are incapable of committing violence – from threats to their peaceful and idyllic way of life, which must be maintained by distilling innocence collected from children’s baby teeth.
But when a threat to the fae mission emerges, Gemma is called upon to protect her heritage, and become a legendary fae warrior… even if it means sacrificing everything she knows about being human!
I like Safrey’s fae better than the nasty little sprites authors often portray them as and her vision of their world and the effect of the humans overtaking it – the classic dispossession of a conquered race – is unique and refreshing. The ‘Olde Way’ that has been lost is a state of peace and bliss and once Gemma tastes it, she knows it’s worth fighting for. But a modern heroine has different challenges and must use different methods to the Warriors of old, so Gemma uses psychology and the media as her weapon, resorting to fists only when necessary.
The plot was almost completely unpredictable. The central characters were delightfully warm and real including Gemma’s volatility and the bad guy was a complex character that gains our empathy by the end. What I liked most about the story was that Gemma managed to solve the problem without killing a soul. Her solution, as noted by a surprised Fae, was much more heroic than had she resorted to murder. It was also more real and more intelligent. Congratulations, Ms Safrey for looking outside the box. It’s rare that readers get a real senses of the power of something good, and in this story, we almost taste it for ourselves.
The ending was excellent and left a good hint that more is in store. I give this 5 stars and recommend it for all lovers of urban fantasy, especially those who are sick of vamps, weres and witches and would like something where light balances the dark.