Book Review: mouth 

by joshua hull


Publisher: Tenebrous Press

After a stranger leaves him a secluded property, drifter Rusty finds himself the caretaker of a massive, tooth-filled mouth in the ground…and it’s hungry. 

His situation is complicated by Abigail, a wannabe filmmaker who stumbles on the secret. Together, the odd pair set out to discover the origins of Mouth and the hidden history of its former owner, setting in motion an outlandish scheme that could endanger them all.

Cover art by Halil Karasu.

Interior illustrations by Kristofor Harris.

James Sabata’s BOOK REVIEW: mouth by joshua hull


"Because sometimes life is pretty terrible. And bad things happen to good things. We don’t all have to be who they want us to be or who they taught us to be. We can all change, but we have to have a fresh start. We can only do that by having a chance for a fresh start.”

This is very hard to talk about when this book does not release for a while. Please forgive my vagueness.

Joshua Hull's MOUTH is a very fast read that is unlike anything you've read. And while I know that's a super cliche thing to say, it's just true. This book has elements of things I've seen before, but constantly goes in different directions than I would have expected, even up to the very last page.

We are conditioned to expect stories to go a certain way and when they do not, it's often jarring. Mouth, on the other hand, only made me love it more and as I look back on it, I don't WANT it to go where I thought it was going. Instead, I got strong characters whose motivations make sense, whose actions are choices, not destiny, and whose choices add up throughout the entire story.

I devoured this story in two sittings, but if I'd realized how fast the second half would go, I might have easily done it in one. If you like Weird New Horror and subversions of expectations, this book is definitely for you.


This book hits some fun themes. I don't want to break it down as much as I normally would, because it doesn't release until March 15 and I don't want to ruin the book for anyone, but it focuses on friendship, found families, living lives we didn't at all plan for, and burying our pasts to build the future we want. 

It additionally hits one of my favorite themes ever, since my Scooby Doo days - The monsters are rarely the ones we suspect. Don't judge monsters on their looks. It's almost always the humans fighting so hard to prove they're not monsters.

There is additionally a theme which is present and commented on, but done so in such a way that it fades into the background, and that is the theme of corruption and greed. We see the choice laid out in front of certain characters and get a refreshing take we don't normally see.


Joshua Hull's style suggests he sees things as a filmmaker. Some of my own books do this and I'm very partial to this style of writing. Everything he does is cinematic, but it's also trimmed down the way one trims a screenplay vs. the excessive use of description often found in prose. Personally, I adore that. I want to cast the cast. I want to design the set. I don't want every detail spelled out for me. 


Being a die-hard fan of M*A*S*H, I was unable to cast anyone as "Wayne Rogers" in my head other than Trapper John McIntyre. :) It gave the book a weird added detail that made me smile every time the character did anything.

I found my new mantra in life, paraphrasing a stolen line from this book: I don't want to be left alone. I just want to be left in silence for a while.